Flaws in Intel, AMD, ARM chips put phones, computers at risk

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According to Intel, the "performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time". The computing industry is scrambling to lessen the severity of the problem with updates to operating systems, web browsers, cloud-computing services and other foundations that need to be kept secure. ARM has put out a security briefing note, indicating which chips could have been affected by Spectre.

Following Intel's disclosure that many of its chips have been vulnerable to hackers, the company said on Thursday that it's been rolling out updates for most processors introduced in the past five years, with more on the way.

Google's Project Zero team said Wednesday that the flaw could allow bad actors to gather passwords and other sensitive data from a system's memory. Microsoft and Linux Foundation are working on patches to fix the vulnerabilities while Apple has yet to make a statement on the matter.

Today will be a crucial test of the market's response to news of a massive security vulnerability that affects chips made by Intel, as well as a separate problem that hits all microprocessors, regardless of manufacturer. And the performance generally isn't a problem, he said: "For the real-world applications.it's minimal impact". Intel encourages computer users worldwide to use the automatic update functions of their operating systems and other computer software to ensure their systems are up to date.

"As this is a new class of attack, our patch status refers to our mitigation in many products (or wasn't a vulnerability in the first place)", reads another excerpt from the same January release. Intel's claim that it is working with other chip-makers including AMD prompted the latter to reply that its products were unaffected.

Initial reports indicated that the security flaw was limited to Intel processors, but chipmaker ARM has since said that chips based on its technology are also affected.

Most viruses utilise flaws in software to gain access to your system.

While Intel has been plagued with the Meltdown bug, the Spectre flaw is more widespread and could prove to be incredible hard to fix.

Practically all devices released in the past few decades are susceptible to the bugs, which let attackers see key information stored in the memory of an operating system kernel. The company in its presentation also says the exploits do not impact just "one architecture or processor implementation". Google said in a blog post that Android phones running the latest security updates are protected, as are its own Nexus and Pixel phones with the latest security updates.

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