Intel Hit With Class Action Lawsuits Over 'Meltdown' Security Flaw

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"Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant", it said. Its newly updated security bulletin simply says that "operating system and some application updates mitigate these attacks", and provides a list of vendors that have updated their software to help guard against Meltdown and Spectre. Besides when you are talking 15 years of chips being affected there was never going to be any way Intel would have done a recall. "We are in the process of deploying mitigations to cloud services and released security updates on January 3 to protect Windows customers against vulnerabilities affecting supported hardware chips from Intel, Arm, and AMD", the company said.

A flaw in the design affects nearly all processors of Intel, AMD and ARM, used in most computers based on Windows, Linux and macOS, as well as smart phones and other devices, according to publication The Register.

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Intel Hit With Class Action Lawsuits Over 'Meltdown' Security Flaw

Krzanich sought to allay worries about the situation in a hastily arranged conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, stressing that there haven't been any known instances of hackers actually exploiting the vulnerability, and promising that fixes were on the way.

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team said the flaws "could allow an attacker to obtain access to sensitive information" and that a patch would only mitigate the threat. "In some instances, users and customers may need to take additional steps to ensure they're using a protected version of a product".

Developers signing non-disclosure agreements meant there had been no word on the validity of these claims from insiders who built the faulty systems.

They also cite the alleged computer slowdown that will be caused by the fixes needed to address the security concerns, although Intel disputes that this will be the case. This time, the news was released a little early, leaving Intel scrabbling to get an update out.

Late Wednesday, Intel confirmed news reports of a security issue related to its central processing units and said it is working with other chipmakers and operating system companies to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve the issue. Most devices, especially older models and budget smartphones are not on the latest security update. "Exploits for these bugs will be added to hacker's standard toolkits", said Guido.

The problem is to do with the design architecture used in the manufacture of computer chips, which has been used for decades. It may well be true that the average users will not see much of a difference on their home computer, but the impact of Meltdown and Spectre is much more widespread than that.