Intel CEO Sold Shares Before Chip Security Flaw Disclosed

Ceria Alfonso
Enero 13, 2018

Two critical exploits discovered by security researchers have been found to affect almost all of Intel and AMD processors in use today.

Barclays believes that flaws like this happen with various CPU architectures every so often, they get resolved, and historically don't create long-term issues. Rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) countered that claim, saying its chips have "near zero" vulnerability to the issues uncovered by researchers because of differences in the architecture of AMD chips.

A Singapore-based Microsoft spokesman said: "We have not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities had been used to attack our customers".

Customers of Microsoft, the maker of the Windows operating system, will need to install an update from the company to fix the problem.

Right now Microsoft has only issued a security fix for Meltdown and there hasn't been any software patch for Spectre!

Because of the industry-wide vulnerability, it is more than computers, servers and cloud OS that are vulnerable.

Researchers on Wednesday published details of the flaw, which unlike many other vulnerabilities stems from the chip itself and how it safeguards private data stored on computers and networks. The flaws were first reported by tech publication The Register. The confirmation comes as a relief especially considering the fact that Xbox consoles rely on AMD's Jaguar platform, which is also affected by the flaw.

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It advised only getting apps from its online App Store which vets programs for safety, and said it has already released some "mitigations" to protect against the exploit and planned to release a defensive update for Safari on macOS and iOS in the coming days.

According to Intel, the "performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time". This puts many at risk from potential attackers. The flaw could allow hackers to see inside a kernel's memory to access sensitive information of the user or exploit more malware.

The company said the patch will remedy 90% of the chips it has released in the last five years, making them immune to the problem.

Google said users of Android phones - who make up more than 80 percent of the global market - were protected if they had installed the latest security updates.

System updates are made available by system manufacturers, operating system providers and others.

Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich sold off $24 million worth of company stock after Google had informed Intel of a significant security vulnerability in its Flagship PC processors. However, the vulnerability and the related exploits didn't become public until this week.

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