Intel confronts security issues with hardware redesign

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The Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in Intel CPUs discovered by Google Project Zero caused a bit of a wobble at Intel, but the firm appears to be recovering rather well.

Brian Krzanich – Intel’s chief executive officer – revealed in a statement that the company has gone back to the drawing board and made some revision.

“We have redesigned parts of the processor to introduce new levels of protection through partitioning that will protect against both Variants 2 and 3. Think of this partitioning as additional ‘protective walls’ between applications and user privilege levels to create an obstacle for bad actors,” said Krzanich.

These hardware changes will come to market in the second half of this year in the form of Intel’s next generation of Xeon Scalable processors (code-named Cascade Lake) and 8th Generation Intel Core processors.

“As we bring these new products to market, ensuring that they deliver the performance improvements people expect from us is critical. Our goal is to offer not only the best performance, but also the best secure performance,” said the Intel exec.

Users on older Intel hardware will still have to patch their systems to protect themselves, but the good news is that there are now microcode updates for all Intel processors released in the last five years.

Intel really has come to the party as regards fixing this problem. While updates did bork some PCs they did their best to fix a massive issue in a short space of time, but Krzanich recognises that this cannot happen again.

“Our work is not done. This is not a singular event; it is a long-term commitment. One that we take very seriously. Customer-first urgency, transparent and timely communications, and ongoing security assurance. This is our pledge and it’s what you can count on from me, and from all of Intel,” concluded the CEO.


[Source – Intel] [Image CC BY 2.0 – Thomas Hawk]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.