Tech Firms Rush Out Patches For Major Computer Flaw

Tech Firms Rush Out Patches For Major Computer Flaw

"While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact". Cloud providers, operating system vendors and other technology companies have been busy responding with product updates.

But Intel continues to claim, alarmingly, that the flaws that led to these exploits are not "bugs" in its processors.

"Intel is committed to product and customer security and is working closely with many other technology companies, including AMD, ARM Holdings and several operating system vendors, to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve this issue promptly and constructively", the chip maker said yesterday. So far Intel is not aware of exploits based on the two vulnerabilities. Spectre, the broader bug that applies to almost all computing devices, is harder for hackers to take advantage of but less easily patched and will be a bigger problem in the long term, he said.

Desktops, laptops, cloud servers, and smartphones are affected by one or both vulnerabilities, the researchers warn.

ARM said patches had already been shared with its customers, which include many smartphone manufacturers.

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Noting that Intel dominates the global chip market for computers and data centres, cyber security firm Fortinet's security research director David Maciejak said: "This is a serious vulnerability that will exist for a long time".

Consumers can mitigate the underlying vulnerability by making sure they patch up their operating systems with the latest software upgrades. An Intel spokesperson said the stock trade was "unrelated" despite Intel knowing about the issue for five months.

Of course, this news comes after Intel has already released updates directly to its processors to combat these security holes. Much debate now seems set to ensue as to what degree which processors are affected and how much they are hobbled in performance by the resulting software burden. It closed down $1.59, or 3.4%, to $45.26.Some on Wall Street think that Intel's loss could mean gains for rivals: AMD and Nvidia could use it as a marketing edge.

While Intel has been plagued with the Meltdown bug, the Spectre flaw is more widespread and could prove to be incredible hard to fix. That memory content could contain key strokes, passwords, and other valuable information. When exploited, the bug can permit hackers with access to users' sensitive information. The ARM design is also used in Apple's mobile chips.

Android devices with the latest security update from January 2018 are protected from the vulnerabilities, Google wrote in a blog post.

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