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Intel says it's fixing security vulnerability in its chips

06 Enero 2018

On a website created to explain the flaws, researchers wrote that they "don't know" if hackers have exploited the bug.

Researchers at Alphabet's Google Project Zero, working with academics, discovered the security problems, including one that affects computer chips by leading maker Intel.

Should my son or daughter be aware?

"All G Suite applications have already been updated to prevent all known attack vectors. As for Meltdown, the software patch needed to fix the issue could slow down computers by as much as 30% - an ugly situation for people used to fast downloads from their favorite online services".

A user's computer's CPU operates in two modes: kernel mode and user mode. The ARM design is also used in Apple's mobile chips.

Side-channel analysis is "a method for an attacker who uses this exploit to observe the contents of privileged memory in a way that circumvents the normally expected privilege levels in the processor", Smith said.

Intel denied that "a 'bug' or a 'flaw'" in its products was the root cause of the issue - as had been earlier suspected - arguing instead that its products, and the devices they were incorporated into, were simply "operating as designed". The bugs could affect processors manufactured as early as 1995, according to the researchers who discovered them, but Intel did not address that possibility.

These supposedly inaccessible tables contained references to physical memory.

And Spectre is a problem that's persistent across chips from the world's other big designers and manufacturers: ARM and AMD. This security issue is not that new after all.

The fixes for the vulnerability will have different effects on PCs, depending on the vintage of their processors.

Microsoft issued security updates to support versions of Windows Wednesday evening. For its part, Intel expects to start releasing its patches next week, company CEO Brian Krzanich said on CNBC Wednesday afternoon.

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

Likewise, you can read detailed papers on Meltdown [PDF] and Spectre [PDF].

Horn said the chipmakers were best-placed to mitigate against the vulnerability, as they could do more than speculate on how the "hardware internals" of their products operated. More deep-dive information that most everyday users couldn't possibly find a use for can be found at Python Sweetness.

AMD, another major processor manufacturer, also acknowledged the flaws in a statement. Have a peek are our full statements article for the whole bunch. In essence, it allows a program to access memory (which it otherwise shouldn't have privilege to access), giving it the opportunity to spy on data associated with other programs and the operating system itself. However, owners of Google Chrome OS and Android devices are advised to take necessary actions. "If you aren't up to date, then there's a lot of other nasties out there you should probably also be worrying about".

Meltdown is a particular problem for the cloud computing services run by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. "With the public disclosure of the security vulnerability today, we are accelerating the planned maintenance timing and will begin automatically rebooting the remaining impacted VMs starting at 3:30pm PST on January 3, 2018".

Intel says it's fixing security vulnerability in its chips