Windows 10, Linux and Apple Mac users have been put on alert about an Intel ‘design flaw’
A “fundamental design flaw” was allegedly discovered with Intel chipsets, and it will spark major updates from operating software creators.
The Register reported that Microsoft are readying a Windows patch to address the issue as are Linux.
The Redmond-based tech giant is expected to launch a Windows fix in an upcoming Patch Tuesday.
However, it’s claimed these patches will have a massive impact on performance – with the updates slowing down PCs by up to 30 per cent.
It’s also claimed Apple’s macOS will need to be updated to address the issues.
Apple’s line of MacBooks all boast Intel processors, with their MacBook Pros featuring the Kaby Lake chipsets.
While Windows 10 laptops invariably have Intel processors instead of rival AMD chipsets.
The Register claims the design flaw means major changes will have to be made to the Windows and Linux kernels.
While Apple will have to fix the issue “in software at the OS level”.
Describing the issue, The Register said: “It is understood the bug is present in modern Intel processors produced in the past decade.
Explaining how the vulnerability may be abused, they added: “At best, the vulnerability could be leveraged by malware and hackers to more easily exploit other security bugs.
“At worst, the hole could be abused by programs and logged-in users to read the contents of the kernel’s memory.
“Suffice to say, this is not great. The kernel’s memory space is hidden from user processes and programs because it may contain all sorts of secrets, such as passwords, login keys, files cached from disk, and so on.
Express.co.uk has contacted Intel for comment.
In the aftermath of the news, AMD’s stock in the US rose by seven per cent while Intel’s fell by two per cent.
The Register also cited an e-mail message they spotted where AMD said they were not affected by the kernel issues.
The news comes after PC users were warned about a security risk facing Windows fans.
NetMarketShare recently published their latest statistics analysing which operating system has the biggest slice of the market share.
And while Microsoft is the clear winner, it’s not Windows 10 that is their most used OS.
NetMarketShare’s figures for the whole of last year show that Windows 7 was the most popular browser in 2017.
Their statistics show the eight year-old software as having a 45.07 per cent share of the OS market.
In comparison Windows 10, released two and a half years ago, has a 27.36 per cent market share.
And for those who have yet to upgrade to Windows 10, they have been put on alert about the risk they’re running.
It was recently claimed that Microsoft have been patching out security bugs in Windows 10 but NOT immediately rolling those out to Windows 7 and 8 users.
Intel processors invariably power Windows 10 laptops
This lag in updates leaves potentially hundreds of millions computers at risk of an attack.
The exploits that hackers and malware are taking advantage of is being fixed in the big Windows 10 releases.
However, this is only slowly filtering back to Windows 7 and 8 in the form of monthly software updates.
The news was revealed by researchers on Google’s Project Zero team.
It’s feared cybercriminals comparing the various builds of Windows will notice these holes in earlier versions of Windows and take advantage of it.
Google researchers outlined their fears in a blog post.
Google Project Zero researcher Mateusz Jurczyk said: “Microsoft is known for introducing a number of structural security improvements and sometimes even ordinary bug fixes only to the most recent Windows platform.
“This creates a false sense of security for users of the older systems, and leaves them vulnerable to software flaws which can be detected merely by spotting subtle changes in the corresponding code in different versions of Windows.”
Published at Wed, 03 Jan 2018 15:40:00 +0000