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Millions of PCs at Risk with Flawed, Hackable Chips as Intel Faces a PR Nightmare

Hackers can access millions of laptops, tablets, and desktop computers manufactured as far back as 1995 because of two major security flaws which have been discovered in Intel chips.

The two vulnerabilities, named Meltdown and Spectre, were discovered by the researchers at Google Project Zero. Meltdown exposes the computers, specifically the sensitive information on the system, to any program. Spectre lets anyone steal data stored in isolation in the computer memory.

Erik Bosman from Alphabet’s research team revealed the news with a proof-of-concept on Twitter on January 3rd, 2018.

The vulnerabilities don’t need a software or operating system loophole to function, which makes them all the more dangerous. The security flaw dates back to the chips manufactured in 1995, which puts millions of devices, including ones from Apple and Microsoft, in danger. An immediate software update is needed to prevent any damage to sensitive information on computers.

Industry experts were calling the incidence a PR nightmare until Intel hadn’t responded to the media regarding the matter. Intel share prices suffered a three percent downfall. The rival of Intel, AMD, witnessed a five percent rise in its share prices post announcement of the chip flaw.

However, now the chip-manufacturing company has issued a statement. They called the reports partially incorrect that the bug wasn’t uniques to Intel products, and several processors, operating systems, as well as products from different vendors, are at risk.

Intel has already started rolling out malware updates and software patches to help deal with the problem. Users can help secure their systems by being alert on the computer security front since any attack using these vulnerabilities depends heavily on running a malware locally. Avoiding suspicious downloads and links may help.

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