Intel: Meltdown, Spectre Fixes Rolling Out By The End Of January

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Intel will patch the vulnerabilities identified on its chips this January. The security issues caused by Meltdown and Spectre will end within the month, the company vowed.

First to get the security updates are the Intel chips released in the past five years, as the company indicated all processors will be patched accordingly. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced at the CES 2018 that the fix will commence rolling this week.

"For our processors and products introduced in the past five years, Intel expects to issue updates for more than 90 percent within a week," the Intel chief executive said as part of his CES keynote in Las Vegas.

Krzanich has assured that all Intel chips with known security holes related to Meltdown and Spectre will get the security fix. He indicated that the update rollout will see completion by the end of the month.

No Data Compromise Known So Far

Meltdown and Spectre, according to Google, can potentially expose processors in circulation, meaning ARM, AMD, and specifically Intel chips have existing exploits due to the bugs. It is estimated that Meltdown can open PCs and servers running on Intel chips to possible hacking attacks that could compromise sensitive information.

Intel, however, downplayed the concern that users' data might have been exploited already. The company said that to date, no reports of security breaches related to Meltdown and Spectre have emerged.

"As of now, we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data. We're working tirelessly on these issues to ensure it stays that way," Krzanich said.

Performance Impact

At the same time, the Intel boss warned that with the security fix rolling out, users will likely experience performance hits on their systems, the magnitude of which will depend on workload issues. This means device users with heavier computer chores could bear the brunt of Intel's planned corrective measures.

"We believe the performance impact of these updates is highly workload dependent ... Some workloads may experience a larger impact than others, so we'll continue working with the industry to minimize the impact on those workloads over time," Krzanich explained.

Intel, however, has made clear that getting the updates as soon as they get deployed is a must if one intends to enjoy solid protection from the threats posed by Meltdown and Spectre or any other form of system vulnerabilities.

"The best thing you can do to make your data remain safe is to apply updates from your operating system vendor as soon as they become available," Krzanich advised.

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