Researcher detects severe vulnerability on Intel CPUs that could compromise sensitive information

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AUGUST 20, 2023

According to Daniel Moghimi, a senior research scientist from the University of California San Diego, several Intel CPUs have been reported to have security compromises due to a flaw called “Downfall” in Intel’sinternal chip design, where, skilled hackers can steal passwords and other sensitive information from computers and servers powered by select Intel processors and the company has acknowledged this issue.

Both mainstream and server-class processors from Intel are on the list of affected chips, where, when these chips are paired with compromised software, hackers can access sensitive information. Intel has given this a severity rating of medium with a CVSS base score of 6.5.

The Downfall vulnerability on select Intel chips is said to target the Gather Instructions, which are normally used for quick data access. Hackers can now use the same feature to capture sensitive data from the affected computers.

According to Moghimi “everyone on the internet is affected.” Intel has acknowledged this issue and has published the list of processors affected by this vulnerability. The company has also released an update to patch the security issue and is urging the affected users to update the firmware to stay safe.

However, the software fix is said to affect the performance by up to 50 per cent. Again, this is an optional update, where, users who prefer to retain the full potential of the chips can opt out of it.

Check out the complete list of affected Intel chips here.


Courtesy/Source: Indian Express / PTI