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Warning!!! Our Computers And Smartphones Are At Risk -intel - Science/Technology - Nairaland

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Warning!!! Our Computers And Smartphones Are At Risk -intel by iheartellah(m): 6:42pm On Jan 06, 2018
Intel Corp. confirmed a report saying that its chips contain a feature that makes them vulnerable to hacking, though it said other companies’ semiconductors are also susceptible.

Intel is working with chipmakers including Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and ARM Holdings, and operating system makers to develop an industrywide approach to resolving the issue that may affect a wide variety of products, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Intel said it has begun providing software to help mitigate the potential exploits. Computer slowdowns depend on the task being performed and for the average user “should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.”

The company’s microprocessors are the fundamental building block of the internet, corporate networks and PCs. Intel has added to its designs over the years trying to make computers less vulnerable to attack, arguing that hardware security is typically tougher to crack than software. Reports about exploits caused by a “bug” or a “flaw” that are unique to its products are incorrect, Intel said.“Intel and other technology companies have been made aware of new security research describing software analysis methods that, when used for malicious purposes, have the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed,” the Santa Clara, California-based company said. “Intel believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.”

The vulnerability may have consequences beyond just computers, and is not 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, Intel Vice President Stephen Smith said on a conference call. That means, in theory, that malicious code could find a way to access information that would otherwise be out of reach, such as passwords.

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday released a security update for its Windows 10 operating system and older versions of the product to protect users of devices with chips from Intel, ARM and AMD, the company said in a statement. The software maker has also started applying the patches to its cloud services where servers also are affected by the issue.

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