To counter it, Google developed a binary modification technique called Retpoline that protects against the second variant (named Spectre) of the attack. The flaw affects only computers with Intel processors and the ones with AMD CPUs are not affected.
Indeed, as Microsoft and Google have already released fixes for preventing hackers from exploiting these flaws on devices running their software. Side channel analysis exploit gives cyber attackers the ability to observe the content of privileged memory, which exploits a speculative execution to go around different privilege levels, Intel explained.
According to a new report fromMacRumors, Apple's fix came out at the beginning of December with the release of macOS 10.13.2. The flaw could allow hackers to see inside a kernel's memory to access sensitive information of the user or exploit more malware.
Lawyer Bill Doyle of Doyle APC, who is representing plaintiffs Steven Garcia and Anthony Stachowiak who filed suit in the northern district of California, said: "The security vulnerability revealed by these reports suggests that this may be one of the largest security flaws ever facing the American public".
"The performance impact of [its] updates is highly workload-dependant and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will mitigate over time".
The firm stated it 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". In addition, the heat on Intel intensified after it was learned that its CEO, Bryan Krzanich, sold off millions of dollars of Intel stock after the disclosure.
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