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New Intel patches promise immunity to Meltdown and Spectre attacks

13 Enero 2018

The fixes for the design flaw come with a cost. Intel CPUs are particularly affected since the Meltdown vulnerability is apparently specific to them.

The risk is especially severe for cloud computing providers, which lease their servers to different clients.

Two hardware bugs can be exploited to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked. The list includes Intel Corei3, Corei5, Corei7 processors (45nm and 32nm), Intel Core M processor family (45nm and 32nm), 2nd Generation, 3rd Generation, 4th Generation, 5th Generation, 6th Generation, 7th Generation and 8th Generation Intel Core processors, and many more.

Android devices with the latest security update from Jan. 2018 are protected from the vulnerabilities, Google wrote in a blog post. But the stock sliced through that level on Thursday. Oregon software developer Linus Torvalds, who created the widely used Linux computer operating system, was especially critical. Amazon and Microsoft echoed Google's comments, claiming their cloud computing customers won't see reduced speeds.

Q&A What can I do about the Meltdown and Spectre flaws? Make sure to allocate sufficient memory to reduce the performance impact. Yet it could be a while before the issues are completely resolved over the world.

Rajpreet Kaur, Senior Research Analyst, Gartner, explains, "The bug related to data leakage from privileged memory will require Intel to fix it by making changes to their chips".

"Brian's sale is unrelated", an Intel spokesperson told Gizmodo.

While in theory, it appears that the performance of PCs might take a hit, the impact for average computer users wouldn't be significant. The full public details are scheduled to be released on January 9.

The sale left the Intel chief with the minimum shares of the company's stock - 250,000 - that he has to be in possession under his employment contract.

It is not known if hackers have abused the flaws, first discovered by the researchers separately last year. (Which it still says hasn't tangibly affected performance for the majority of its audience.) This statement from Intel is aimed to double down on reassuring users that the problem is well on the way to being fixed.

Device manufacturers are expected to roll out patches to fix the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, and many users will find that security patches have already been pushed out.

Intel paid hundreds of millions of dollars to recall its Pentium processors after the 1994 discovery of the "FDIV bug" that revealed rare but real calculation errors.

"Intel and its partners have made significant progress in deploying updates as both software patches and firmware updates", the company said in a press release.

Meltdown is thought to potentially affect every Intel processor made since 1995 that implements out-of-order execution, with the exception of Itanium and Atom.

What is being done about it?

"Programs can, for example, find passwords that are stored in other programs", he said. That's after a 3.4 percent drop Wednesday.

New Intel patches promise immunity to Meltdown and Spectre attacks