Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Intel CEO praises tech industry response to chip flaws

Intel at CES 2018 to display Volocopter, a flying car that runs on battery Intel CEO praises tech industry response to chip flaws
Doris Mccormick | 09 January, 2018, 11:05

Since the announcement, a fourth variant of Meltdown - dubbed Variant 3a - has been developed, extending the attack to selected non-Intel processors as well.

Two major security flaws were revealed by cybersecurity experts on Wednesday, threatening the safety of virtually every gadget and computer that uses processing chips.

"For our customers' protection, Apple doesn't disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until an investigation has occurred and patches or releases are available", the company said on its website.

The three complaints also cite suggestions that devices using Intel's CPUs will see significant slowdown as a result of addressing the security flaws. Intel chips are used in around 90% of the world's personal devices.

Apple just confirmed that almost all of its devices are impacted by the affecting processors made by Intel and other chip makers. Apple claims the Metldown vulnerability was addressed in iOS 11.2, and since there isn't a hardware fix for Spectre, the company issued this over-the-air update to all compatible devices. iOS 11.2.2 is available for iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation.

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Meltdown was discovered by Graz University of Technology researcher, Daniel Gruss. However, that point is in some dispute. Rather, they used analysis techniques to pull information from operating system kernels, labeling these methods "Meltdown" and "Spectre". This is typically common practise so as to avoid publicising the flaw for hackers to exploit.

Currently, Microsoft already released security updates for Windows users and is now working on securing its cloud computing services. The update comes with a crucial Spectre fix for Safari, so be sure to update your machines as soon as you can.

There have been no confirmed cases of Apple devices been directly targeted by the Spectre or Meltdown flaws. The company told CNNMoney the stock sale was not related to the security issues. Mr. Krzanich, who reduced his holdings by about 50 percent, "continues to hold shares in line with corporate guidelines", Intel said. Google and Amazon are reportedly doing the same thing for their cloud services. Especially, since the patches could perhaps affect the battery life or overall performance of the device in question.

Apple has released security updates for iOS, MacOS, and Safari that help protect against Spectre.

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