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Intel chip flaw discovered

Intel chip flaw discovered


2018 hasn’t exactly kicked off in the best way possible and Intel’s chip flaw just adds to the pile of mishaps. There are serious flaws that could allow cyber criminals to steal personal information from millions of computers and smartphones. Smartphones from both sides of the fence, iPhone and Android. 

These vulnerabilities were discovered by Google researchers last year, which affect computer chips made by Intel, AMD and ARM, as well as the devices and operating systems running on them. This vulnerability could be affecting almost every computer released over the last 20 years. Intel itself is now coming face to face with three class action lawsuits over the recently discovered security flaw, the complaints were filed in Oregon, California, and Indiana by owners of Intel CPU-based computers. Intel has helped provide security patches, but the complaints raise concerns that these patches will hurt computer performance, and isn’t a proper response to the problem.

Some researchers revealed two major CPU bugs named Spectre and Meltdown. The Meltdown flaw is aimed to Intel chips, and it strikes at the core of how CPUs process information. Security patches offer some aid but they could slow down PCs by 5 to 30 percent, leading to widespread panic. However, Intel has denied this saying that “any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.” Intel isn’t the only chipmaker affected by these CPU bugs, the Spectre flaw is extensive and potentially more demanding to fix, and we don’t know how serious the problem might be in the long run. However, there are straightforward steps you can take to protect yourself.


Android & Chromebook users:

Google says it has updated its systems and affected products to protect users against the vulnerabilities. It is also working with hardware and software manufacturers across the wider technology industry. Google says that Android smartphones and tablets that have the latest security updates are protected from the vulnerabilities. To check for available updates, go to Settings, System and System Update. Unfortunately, a significant amount of Android users is stuck on older versions of the operating systems and therefore quite vulnerable. Chromebook users are being advised to update to version 63 of Chrome OS. Current known attacks do not affect Google Home, Chromecast, Google Wifi or OnHub, the company says. 


Apple TV, iPhone & Mac users: 

Apple has revealed that every single iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV is affected by the vulnerabilities, but says “there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time”. As of right now the best thing you can do is to make sure your device is fully up to date. On iPhone or iPad, do this by going to Settings, General and Software Update. On macOS, open the App Store app, click Updates in the App Store toolbar, and use the Update buttons to download and install any that are available. On Apple TV, go to Settings, System, Software Updates and turn the Automatically Update option on.


Windows users:

Microsoft has released an emergency security update for Windows 10, which will automatically be applied to computers. The company says it doesn’t believe the vulnerabilities have actually led to any attacks on Windows users. 

Fixes for Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines are also available, but won’t automatically be applied until next Tuesday. You can search for updates manually by going to Settings, searching Windows Update and clicking Check for Updates. 

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