Cybersecurity » Lawsuits Reveal Intrinsic Flaw In Computer Operations

Lawsuits Reveal Intrinsic Flaw In Computer Operations

January 15, 2018

Major class action lawsuits filed against Intel involve two flaws, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, that are precisely the types of vulnerabilities that nation-state hackers use to develop new attack tools. They exploit an aspect of the computing operation called speculative execution that occurs when the computer anticipates the next piece of data a user will access based on former actions, and makes that data available in a layer of computer memory that sits between the operating system and the hardware. To eliminate the vulnerability, any fix must also eliminate the speculative execution that makes computers run faster, according Tony Cole, vice president and chief technology officer for FireEye. To avoid the risk of hacking, Cole recommends continuously updating the operating systems and downloading security patches for mobile phones, tablets and computers. The lead plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits claim Intel has failed to replace defective computers or provide a solution that will not weaken performance.

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