Information Security

A new year, a new threat

Millions of computers in New Zealand will be affected by a newly discovered flaw in all Intel processors sold around the world over the past 10 years that could expose passwords and other sensitive data to hackers.

The only solution appears to be a software fix that Intel admits could slow down some computing processes by 30 per cent “or more”.

Intel vice president Steven Smith said “a new class of attack” was discovered by researchers at Google that could allow hackers to access information stored in computers’ memories.

The fixes will involve making changes to computer operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows and Linux, and to Intel’s own “microcode”.

Because of the nature of the vulnerability, the overall performance impact of those fixes will depend on how a computer is being used.


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