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The 10 Most Controversial Companies Of 2018

Businesses sometimes find themselves in the news for the wrong reasons. Here are 10 companies that made headlines this year – but not in a good way.

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2. Intel

Intel got 2018 off to a rocky start when reports surfaced of two serious processor vulnerabilities that quickly became known as Spectre and Meltdown. Intel at first called the reports inaccurate, downplaying their severity and – initially – even disputing whether they constituted "flaws."

But Spectre and Meltdown soon became a serious crisis for Intel, as well as for other chipmakers like AMD and for the IT industry as a whole. The side channel analysis vulnerabilities were believed to affect generations of microprocessors used in millions of servers, desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones and other devices.

There were criticisms of what some saw as Intel's slow response in the first days of the crisis. And there were stumbles when it did respond: A bug in a firmware update issued by Intel forced vendors like VMware to retract faulty patches.

To its credit Intel got ahead of the crisis, launching a comprehensive threat mitigation plan that included operating system and firmware updates to correct the vulnerabilities. And Intel has taken steps to prevent a similar incident, including launching a bug bounty program and creating a new cross-company security group to make product security as high a priority as performance.

Intel, of course, remained in the headlines in June when CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after it was disclosed that he had a consensual relationship with an employee in violation of company policy. And a growing shortage of Intel CPU chips in the second half of the year caused disruptions throughout the industry.

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