Intel chips found to be vulnerable to attacks


#1

A report that Intel Corp. chips are vulnerable to hackers raised concerns about the company’s main products and brand.

On Tuesday, the technology website The Register said a bug lets some software gain access to parts of a computer’s memory that are set aside to protect things like passwords. All computers with Intel chips from the past 10 years appear to be affected, the report said, and patches to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows and Apple Inc.’s OS X operating systems will be required. The security updates may slow down older machinery by as much as 30 percent, according to The Register.

The vulnerability may have consequences beyond just computers, and may not be the result of a design or testing error. All modern microprocessors, including those that run smartphones, are built to essentially guess what functions they’re likely to be asked to run next. By queuing up possible executions in advance, they’re able to crunch data and run software much faster.

The problem in this case is that this predictive loading of instructions allows access to data that’s normally cordoned off securely. That means, in theory, that malicious code could find a way to access information that would otherwise be out of reach, such as passwords.

More technical talks can be found in the original report here.


#2

People always enjoy giving me a hard time for being a hardcore AMD guy. Thanks for posting this. Intel makes overpriced chips that frequently have vulnerabilities and deficiencies uncovered.


#3

AMD or Intel, im all for breaking the virtual monopoly that Intel is having on chip-making (i think they have about 80% of the market share). Competitions always foster better innovation and pricing for the consumers in generals.


#4

In order to break up the chip monopoly hardware manufacturers as well as operating system developers will need to get on board. What good is buying a chip if you can’t buy the hardware to support it (with maximum efficiency) or the software to run on it? In the near term, if a company wants to break in to chip manufacturing they will need to do a lot of additional hardware manufacturing and software development themselves. That would require a lot of capital investment and a lot of risk. Via took a shot at this and at one point were considered to be the next big competitor to AMD and Intel. They are still struggling in the x86 market and have had challenges getting Windows 10 to run. Maybe the next Apple will do this. I used to like Apple back when they were considered to be a hardware manufacturer. I was really disappointed when Apple made the switch from PowerPC processors to Intel, but even then the PowerPC processors were made by IBM. The chip market isn’t just the chip market, it’s the computer hardware market and operating system market that need to fully support the chips. If a company is willing to go it alone and manufacture everything and deliver a complete computing product to the consumer, I’d be an early adopter if it was good tech. With so many great Linux distros out there it’s something that is possible.


#5

Every Intel processor since 1995 has a critical security flaw.

Good news: it is kinda sorta patched

Bad news: the patch slows down your machine - you can’t avoid the patch.


#6

It impacts millions of Android users too. Let’s not forget that the NSA basically owns Intel. We can thank Edward Snowden for telling us about that. Here’s the fix. Stop buying Intel products and sell off all of the intel products that you have.


#7

Intel ME can technically be disabled but it should only be attempted by someone who knows what they are doing. Any errors made while disabling could destroy the machine.

Use at your own risk.


#8

What the hell…I just got a new laptop for Christmas. It’s an Intel laptop of course. We need to have more threads like this. I would have never known about any of this if I hadn’t read this thread. I saw some stuff in the news but I’m not a techie and don’t know what I’m looking at. How can you tell if you have an Intel processor in your phone?


#9

Where did you get the laptop from? You can probably factory reset it and return it if you picked it up at Best Buy or Amazon. Follow @Patriot’s advice and go AMD. You will probably get a bunch of money back too. Here is what I use and I work in IT.

For your phone…if you have a Snapdragon processor you’re good. If it has an Atom processor. Ditch it. Most high-end Android phones use Snapdragon.


#10

Thanks. Yeah my wife bought it for me at BestBuy and she got all of the equipment protection crap they sold her. The laptop she got me was almost double that price and didn’t even have two hard drives. From the looks of it I can probably get a really nice AMD laptop for about what she spent. I’ll shop around and do this after work today. My phone is an S7 so I’m good.


#11

Intel ME NSA


#12

Intel might have been forced to react to this if evidence is about to come out that it was used to illegally spy on Trump. It’s public knowledge that the NSA was doing this to all Americans and no one is in prison for it and it has never been stopped.


#13

Bit of an update