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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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Paytm is Testing ‘Face Login’ Feature, To Increase Security

The company has tested this feature extensively with over 10,000 distinct faces and witnessed nearly 100 per cent accuracy.

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Security, Paytm
Paytm testing 'Face Login' feature.

To further secure its platform, digital payments company Paytm on Monday said it is testing a new “Face Login” security feature on its Android beta app.

According to One97 Communications, that owns the brand Paytm, the new feature will enable users to log in to their app by simply looking at their phone.

Security, Paytm
Paytm, Wikimedia

This will be an important security update for Paytm users that is designed to prevent phishing attacks by providing an additional security layer of biometric security, the company said in a statement.

“Our team is currently working on enhancing our proprietary algorithms to make it more intuitive for users. This will make accessing Paytm account even simpler and faster, prevent phishing attacks and offer instant access on the go,” said Deepak Abbot, Senior Vice President-Paytm.

Also Read: Paytm Acquires Smart Savings Start Up Balance Tech

The company has tested this feature extensively with over 10,000 distinct faces and witnessed nearly 100 per cent accuracy. To achieve this, the app maps over 200 distinct parameters on the human face for high accuracy. (IANS)

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