Major Intel Security Flaw Could Cut Performance By 30%

Affects all platforms on chips for the last 10 years      04/01/18

Major Intel Security Flaw Could Cut Performance By 30%


This could be one of those defining moments in computing history that really shakes things up. The news is coming out that there is a chip level design flaw in Intel CPUs (ones made in the last 10 years), which allows malicious code to view areas of memory. For instance to view passwords. Its a frankly terrifying low level issue that will require any OS running on Intel chips to spit out the contents of the memory heap.

Developers are working on Kernel level fixed (the core of the  OS) for Linux, OS X and Windows. But this is likely to come at a performance cost. Estimates vary from 17% to 30% loss of power. Obviously this can affect realtime performance for audio and video applications, as well as many of the cloud based services many of us use  - Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure and others are likely to now require more power to perform the same functions. This can only mean that computing resources are going to get a price hike. Its not clear if Intel have already designed the issue out of their next manufacture run - but we can assume they are freaking out a bit as they scramble to keep their reputation intact.

This could result in a real shakeup of the tech industry.

Update - Follow this Link to the official Intel vulnerability check tool (thanks to Muzak via comments)

Update 2: Due to Windows 10 auto updating - (which cannot be disabled) it is likely that if you have a W10 machine, the patch will already have been applied - it was issued yesterday.

See video below from @misc0110 on twitter on how this can manifest:

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