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Intel Officially Responds to Inaccurate Media Reporting on its Products and is Working with AMD and ARM on the issue

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Yesterday a doom and gloom report was posted by The Register titled "Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign." Earlier today Bloomberg wanted to ratchet up the tension with a report titled "Intel Confronts Potential 'PR Nightmare' With Reported Chip Flaw." This afternoon Intel felt compelled to send out a press release responding to the security research findings because of what it calls "inaccurate media reports."

 

Intel's press release states in full that "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. Intel believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.

 

Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a 'bug' or a 'flaw' and are unique to Intel products are incorrect. Based on the analysis to date, many types of computing devices — with many different vendors' processors and operating systems — are susceptible to these exploits.

 

Intel is committed to product and customer security and is working closely with many other technology companies, including AMD, ARM Holdings and several operating system vendors, to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve this issue promptly and constructively. Intel has begun providing software and firmware updates to mitigate these exploits.

 

Contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.

 

Intel is committed to the industry best practice of responsible disclosure of potential security issues, which is why Intel and other vendors had planned to disclose this issue next week when more software and firmware updates will be available. However, Intel is making this statement today because of the current inaccurate media reports.

 

Check with your operating system vendor or system manufacturer and apply any available updates as soon as they are available. Following good security practices that protect against malware in general will also help protect against possible exploitation until updates can be applied.

 

Intel believes its products are the most secure in the world and that, with the support of its partners, the current solutions to this issue provide the best possible security for its customers."

 

Intel opens CES with a keynote next Monday, January 8th. Perhaps at that time we'll learn more about this issue as it relates to consumers and the enterprise.   

 

As for macOS, it's being reported by both AppleInsider and MacRumors this afternoon that Apple has already partially addressed the issue with an update issued on December 6th (macOS 10.13.2). 

 

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