Breakingviews - Intel flaws hint at tech "too big to fail" risk

Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus during an Apple event in San Francisco. Apple is apologizing for secretly slowing down older iPhones which it says was necessary to avoid unexpected

Eric Risberg AP Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus during an Apple event

"While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact", Intel said. But intel and ARM say both exploits can be patched with software updates from them and operating system makers over the coming days and weeks.

We don't know what Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nintendo and AMD will do in order to resolve this security issue.

One Intel chip flaw could let hackers read a computer's memory and steal passwords, while another that affects Intel, AMD and ARM chips lets hackers trick applications into giving up secret information Security researchers on Wednesday disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from almost every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, AMD and ARM.

Meltdown appears to only affect CPUs released by Intel, whereas Spectre also impacts processors from AMD and ARM-based chips in mobile & entertainment devices.

AMD will likely try to take advantage of this controversy. "Spectre" can affect computers, phones and tablets.

Microsoft said that it has been working with manufacturers to counter vulnerabilities and protect customers.

A security vulnerability in chips made by Intel and others was discovered by Google "a couple months ago", Intel's CEO said.

While the patches could minimise the effect to an extent, the Registers and few users suggested that this could result in the operating system's performance slowdown. And although security patches exist for devices running Linux, Windows, and OS X, the researchers said, the fix may slow down their performance by as much as 30 percent, according to some estimates.

Intel took issue with news reports that described the security problem as a "bug" or "flaw" and that it is somehow unique to Intel.

"Intel has already issued updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years", the Intel statement reveals. "Most of the software vendors welcome that interaction as long as you see this disclosure in private first, so you have a chance to fix the bugs". For example, an unauthorized party may read sensitive information in the system's memory such as passwords, encryption keys, or sensitive information open in applications.

Two hardware bugs can be exploited to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked.

They also plan to design their future chip architecture to prevent the exploits. However, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google have already addressed the security bug with the latest cumulative updates for their respective platforms.

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