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Categories: AMD Intel

Hoping the #Meltdown and #Spectre security problems might mean @Intel would be buying you a shiny new computer after a chip recall? Sorry, ain’t gonna happen. Intel famously paid hundreds of millions of dollars to recall its Pentium processors after the 1994 discovery of the “FDIV bug” that revealed rare but real calculation errors. Meltdown and Spectre are proving similarly damaging to Intel’s brand, sending the company’s stock down more than 5 percent.  But Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the new problems are much more easily fixed — and indeed are already well on their way to being fixed, at least in the case of Intel-powered PCs and servers. Intel said Thursday that 90 percent of computers released in the last 5 years will have fixes available by the end of next week. “This is very very different from FDIV,” Krzanich said, criticizing media coverage of Meltdown and Spectre as overblown. “This is not an issue that is not fixable… we’re seeing now the first iterations of patches.” The vulnerabilities, announced Wednesday by Google and other researchers, open a new avenue of attack on PCs, phones, and servers — computing devices using chips designed by Intel, Arm and, to a lesser degree, AMD. If an attacker manages to place malicious software on your device, it could use Meltdown or Spectre to listen in on other software whose data is supposed to be secure from eavesdropping within the system. That could mean an attacker could get access to passwords, encryption keys and other extremely sensitive data.

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