Intel Reveals Its Plans To Fix Spectre And Meltdown Issues


Intel shares its plans on how the company will handle threats brought about by the Spectre and Meltdown exploits now and in the future.

Earlier this year, Google's Project Zero made a discovery that shook the chipmaker and rest of the technology industry and reports noted that the vulnerability exists on both X86-based and ARM-based processors. The manufacturers scrambled with both hardware and software developers to come up with a solution to the issue.

Recently, the company divulged its current and future plans to combat the threat and hopefully ease the minds of their consumers.

A Serious Risk

The security flaw apparently allows hackers to access protected data normally secured by encryption or passwords. So far, most of the published solutions focus mainly on the software side, which likewise encountered issues after the patches were applied.

Smartphone manufacturers also released software updates that also had its fair share of issues on certain handset models.

A Mixed Bag Of Results

The company confirmed that together with their partners, it has issued the appropriate fixes that will prevent potential attacks. However, there are documented instances wherein the Meltdown and Spectre patches caused a select number of systems to reboot or freeze up on different occasions.

Experts suggest that the number of affected users only represent a small part of the industry. However, it admittedly prompted some OEMs to halt the installation of the software fixes.

"There were cases where the patches didn't work as intended, said Ronak Singhal, a senior executive from the Santa Clara-based firm.

Nonetheless, sources shared that it has addressed the problems encountered by the previously released patches. To date, Intel has not received reports of the abovementioned problems. It also acknowledged that all of its existing products launched over the past five years have received the necessary software fixes.

A Bold Next Step

Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel, wants to inform their consumers that the chipmaker understands the need to address the security risks brought about by Meltdown and Spectre. Now that the software patches are readily available for its affected products, the next course of action is to implement a fix on the hardware side.

He pointed out that engineers have revisited the design process to create an integrated protection system that will eliminate the previous vulnerability. It confirmed that the first line of products to feature the new countermeasures will be its next-gen Xeon processors. They carry the codename Cascade Lake and are intended for use in data centers.

Furthermore, consumers can likewise expect that its 8th generation Core chipsets will be equipped with the same security parameters. These latest chips are slated for launch in the second half of 2018.

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