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Major Intel chip security flaw discovered

The bug is thought to affect all processors from the last decade, with experts claiming that a fix could slow down computers by up to 30%

4 January 2018, 9:51am
Intel has denied claims that any fix could reduce significantly reduce performance
Intel has denied claims that any fix could reduce significantly reduce performance
A serious security flaw in the design of Intel’s chips has been discovered, which will cause Microsoft, Linux and Apple to update operating systems around the world.

The flaw makes it easier for hackers to target passwords and other personal details.

In a statement issued yesterday, Intel said it was working on a fix, which experts have said could slow down processing power by up to 30%.

“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,” said Intel in a statement.

It added that “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”.

The problem centres around a part of an operating system called a kernel – a program which controls most other programs, allowing them to access the computers memory. It appears that the flaw allows programs to bypass the kernel and carry out high-level manipulation themselves.

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