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Another Security flaw is Revealed By Intel in its Chips

Intel has disclosed a new variant of the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in the chips that hackers may use to extract sensitive data from hundreds of millions of computers and mobile devices.

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The Taiwan semiconductor firm produces Apple's A11 chip that is in the iPhone X.
The Taiwan semiconductor firm produces Apple's A11 chip that is in the iPhone X. Pixabay
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Intel has disclosed a new variant of the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in the chips that hackers may use to extract sensitive data from hundreds of millions of computers and mobile devices.

Intel is calling the new strain — Speculative Store Bypass (Variant 4) — and it is similar to the earlier flaw that taps into many of the same security vulnerabilities that were first revealed in January.

However, this time around it uses a different method to extract sensitive information, CNET quoted Intel as saying.

The new vulnerability also includes firmware updates for CPUs and Intel has already delivered microcode updates for Speculative Store Bypass in beta form to original equipment manufacturers.

Intel is classifying Variant 4 as a medium risk because many of the exploits it uses in web browsers, like Safari, Edge, and Chrome were fixed in the original set of patches, according to a blog post from the company.

IoT devices will become affordable with the help of Microchips.
Microchips, Wikimedia Commons

Intel has promised that the patches would be rolled out broadly in the next few weeks. The firmware updates would set the Speculative Store Bypass protection to off-by-default.

“If enabled, we have observed a performance impact of approximately two-to-eight per cent based on overall scores for benchmarks,” Leslie Culbertson, Intel’s Security Chief, was quoted as saying.

As a result, end users would have to pick between security or optimal performance.

Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities have been causing problems to companies like Intel, Arm and AMD that are major producers of chips for computers, laptops and mobile devices.

While Meltdown impacts only Intel chips, Spectre affects all other chips, including ARM and AMD. The vulnerabilities allow attackers to read sensitive information on users’ CPU.

Also Read: This Way China Can Help India In The Terms of Artificial Intelligence

While companies like Intel, Apple and Microsoft have issued updates to patch the flaws, the fixes have not always worked as intended, sometimes causing computer problems.

Earlier this year, following the news of the bugs getting out, all major tech players such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, including Intel, released security patches to help protect users from potential data theft. (IANS)

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Apple Ditching Intel 5G Chips for 2020 iPhone Models: Report

The news was originally reported by Calcalist, an Israeli financial daily, which reviewed internal company communications

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The China Clean Energy Fund will be managed through a third party, DWS Group, which specialises in sustainable investments and will also invest in the fund, Apple said.
The China Clean Energy Fund will be managed through a third party, DWS Group, which specialises in sustainable investments and will also invest in the fund, Apple said. Pixabay

Apple has reportedly conveyed a message to Intel, saying it will not be using the chip-maker’s 5G modems for 2020 iPhone models, the media reported.

As a result of the decision, Intel seems to have halted development on a modem internally known as “Sunny Peak”, but the company is reportedly now focusing on improving its product in an attempt to win Apple back for the 2022 iPhone lineup, Digital Trends reported on Thursday.

The news was originally reported by Calcalist, an Israeli financial daily, which reviewed internal company communications.

Also Read: Apple Partnering with HPE on Enterprise-Related Operations: Report

Earlier reports suggested that Apple was turning to Taiwanese mobile chipset maker MediaTek for its communications components and that the Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant was looking to move away from using Intel processors altogether by 2020.

Apple started using Intel components in modern iPhones as it wanted to reduce its dependence on chips from Qualcomm, with which it got entangled in a log legal battle. (IANS)

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