Chip Flaw Affects Mobile Devices — Smartphone Users Beware

Intel processor

Major security flaws put virtually all phones & computers at risk

While researchers say the Meltdown bug is limited to Intel processors, they have verified Spectre as a problem for Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and ARM processors.

It's all too early to tell, but what we know so far is that Windows and Linux kernels require a redesign of sorts to sidestep the bug. Spectre is reportedly the more serious threat, with Meltdown more difficult to exploit and easier to patch.

Apple has been mum on Spectre and how it affects iOS devices, but presumably the risk will be equally small.

"This is not a bug or a flaw in Intel products", the company writes.

Are the iPad and AppleTV affected?

Intel had said the issues were not caused by a design flaw and asked users to download a patch and update their operating system.

Unfortunately, the Microsoft fix may result in some performance dips. As we noted above - Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google have already patched their devices and servers. 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.

The chip maker didn't go into detail about the exact problem, but suggested Intel products aren't the only ones affected.

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now. and Intel wasn't one of them! Some say performance speeds of Intel computers with older processors could slow down by as much as 30 per cent, though newer Skylake processors might not have face a severe impact. Furthermore, Intel has already provided the vendors and developers with software and firmware updates.

Krzanich said that Intel was working with other companies to come up with a fix, including "OS partners", as well as rival chipmakers AMD and ARM.

Intel's competitor in the central processing unit (CPU) market, is insulating itself from the massive processor-related security risk discovered by Google. Initial reports indicated that the security flaw was limited to Intel processors, but chipmaker ARM has since said that chips based on its technology are also affected.

According to one of the report's authors Dr Yuval Yarom, researcher at the University of Adelaide and Data61, the exploits could allow computer programs to access data they should not be allowed to see.

Intel also says the exploits are due to "speculative execution techniques" which are present in nearly all modern processors. Passwords and cached files were vulnerable for hacking and provided access to hackers to gain control over some security features.

This is even worse on shared systems.

Krzanich sold the most stock as allowed under corporate bylaws in November, reported the Motley Fool last month before the security flaws became public. That's after a 3.4 percent drop Wednesday.

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