Two newly discovered security chip vulnerabilities found in millions of processors have shaken up the industry. Considering they prove a critical crack in a computer’s most basic safeguard— it is no wonder the entire industry from Alphabet’s Google and Apple to Intel, Advanced Micro Systems, and ARM Holdings are scrambling.
Intel, one of the world’s largest chip makers, has come forward and acknowledged the processor security flaw and vulnerability. And Intel’s engineering lead, Steve Smith, explains the problem best, “Someone has figured out a way to exploit the architecture that is built into all modern computer systems.”
The Hackable Vulnerabilities: Meltdown & Spectre
The researchers, who came forward within months of each other and told Intel about the security flaws say the vulnerabilities, known as “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” are based on the same general principles. Meltdown allows malicious programs to gain access to higher-privileged parts of a computer’s memory, while Spectre steals data from the memory of other applications running on a machine. Apparently, Meltdown is limited to Intel chips, and Spectre attacks can occur on AMD and ARM processors, as well.
Computers and Devices Most at Risk
The majority of Google’s Android phones and Windows PCs are at risk. Also, Apple’s computer products including iPhones, iPads, and Macs are affected because they have used flawed Intel chips for about a decade. Experts say that any devices that use chips from Intel, AMD or ARM are at risk, as well as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.
While teams are being mobilized to create chip security problem patches (which some estimate could take a year) and tech giants point blame at each other, we say it’s not too soon to learn about what your protections are. As a consumer, you trusted well-funded corporations who made promises to you, and others saying that your personal data would be safe while using their desktop, tablet, or smartphone. The claim didn’t hold up. Why not reach out to one of our consumer protection lawyers now—and learn what your legal options are?