'Serious' flaws in Intel and other chips impact millions of devices

It's a part of the Software Engineering Institute, which is itself a non-profit that's largely funded by grants from the US Department of Defence.

Spectre is an exploit that breaks the isolation between different applications on chips from Intel, AMD and ARM, and potentially allows hackers to 'trick' error-free programs that normally follow best practices into 'leaking' their secrets.

Experts have identified a vulnerability in Intel processors that allows attackers to access files and data stored in the kernel's memory.

'Organisations concerned about the possibility of passwords and login keys being exposed, should consider using a password management solution.

Intel is facing three class-action lawsuits as the company continues to grapple with fallout after it acknowledged its chips were vulnerable to two massive security bugs. This could come in the form of a more aggressive marketing tactic or better security features for their CPUs.

The updates that delivered the fix require a significant redesign of the OS.

Meltdown is a particular problem for companies such as Amazon and Google with cloud hosting services.

The flaws were discovered by several teams, working independently. But strictly speaking the latter claim at least is correct, in that the flaw, if that is what it should be called, is in the design. Security researchers warn that the industry is in a race against time before hackers figure out how to exploit the vulnerabilities.

"Longer-term customers could be more motivated to find alternatives at AMD and possibly ARM (CAVM benefits) to diversify the architectural risks", Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya wrote Thursday.

Multiple Wall Street analysts predicted AMD will take advantage of the Intel's security issues.

Intel said it has already issued updates for the majority of its processor products introduced within the past five years.

"Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel's virtual memory system". It is possible for this speculative execution to have side effects which are not restored when the CPU state is unwound, and can lead to information disclosure.

"We used our VM Live Migration technology to perform the updates with no user impact, no forced maintenance windows and no required restarts", wrote Ben Treynor Sloss, Google Engineering Vice President, in a blog post.

A highly-regarded and US government-linked cybersecurity organisation has quietly withdrawn its recommendation that users and manufacturers replace the chips in their devices to fully protect against a security vulnerability that just became public.

Google's Cloud Platform has been updated to prevent the vulnerabilities, the company said. That means all Pixel phones have been patched (assuming automatic updates are turned on), as well as Nexus 5X and 6P, as well as the Pixel C tablet. The flaw leaves your personal devices vulnerable to attack. Intel chips dating as far back as a decade are in jeopardy. The sale allowed Krzanich to whittle his holdings down to about 250,000 shares, the minimum he is required to own under Intel's rules.

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