Intel Downplays 'Inaccurate' Chip Security Flaw Report


Intel refuted a report Wednesday that its chips contain a massive security flaw, stressing that the exploit does not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data, and that consumers won't see a major performance decrease while impacted devices are updated.

The reports, which claimed that Intel chips have a bug enabling software to gain access to parts of computers' memory, emerged earlier on Wednesday and sent the chip company's shares tumbling 6 percent. Meanwhile, rival AMD's shares rose 7.2 percent.

"Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a 'bug' or a 'flaw' and are unique to Intel products are incorrect," the chip company said in a statement. "Based on the analysis to date, many types of computing devices — with many different vendors' processors and operating systems — are susceptible to these exploits."

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According to the report, which was first written by technology website The Register, all computers with Intel chips from the last 10 years are impacted, and customers will need to upgrade with new patches to Windows and OSX operating systems. These security updates may slow down machines by as much as 30 percent, the report said.

However, Intel stressed that "contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time."

Intel said that the company and other vendors had planned to disclose this issue next week when more software and firmware updates will be available, before the "current inaccurate media reports" emerged.

"Intel is committed to product and customer security and is working closely with many other technology companies, including AMD, ARM Holdings and several operating system vendors, to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve this issue promptly and constructively," the company said in the statement. "Intel has begun providing software and firmware updates to mitigate these exploits."