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Smartphone Users Beware: Chip Flaw Affects Mobile Devices

13 Enero 2018
Smartphone Users Beware: Chip Flaw Affects Mobile Devices

The researchers who discovered the vulnerabilities said that "almost every system", since 1995, including computers and phones, is affected by the bug. Both Meltdown and Spectre can essentially erode the boundaries in a machine that seperate one client's data from another.

Intel has released a statement saying that the flaw isn't unique to their own chips.

Past couple of days there was this commotion about Spectre and Meltdown vunrabilities in hardware, even Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the Microsoft fix may result in some performance dips. Apple says that the bug has been partially fixed and it will be completely addressed with the macOS 10.13.3 software update.

Google and Microsoft declined to comment. 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.

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

The entire incident could lead to charges or lawsuits for Intel, as Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon indicated in a Wednesday note.

"Processors have long been sold based solely on performance considerations, not security", says Watson. "The bad news is that users will once again have to install a security update, and businesses are likely to have to restart thousands of computers to apply the fixes", said Cluley. Google's Project Zero team notes that "exploitation has been shown to be difficult and limited on the majority of Android devices".

"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 company said in a statement. One of the concerns is that the updates may slow performance but Krzanich has denied this.

Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a "bug" or a "flaw" and are unique to Intel products are incorrect.

Some security experts say the issue is potentially more serious, however, and could represent a festering problem for Intel and other chipmakers.

Computer chipmaking giant Intel - the focus of the first reports on the flaw - said the company and its partners "have made significant progress in deploying updates" to mitigate any threats.

So far, it has not received any reports of attacks due to the two critical flaws, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre.

On Wednesday, Google and Intel disclosed "Meltdown" and "Spectre", two ways to exploit Intel, AMD, and ARM processors and get access to confidential data. Passwords and cached files were vulnerable for hacking and provided access to hackers to gain control over some security features. This is known as "speculative execution".

Krzanich sold the most stock as allowed under corporate bylaws in November, reported the Motley Fool last month before the security flaws became public.