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Massive Intel Bug Puts Millions Of Computers At Risk

An extremely impactful Intel bug has necessitated a redesign of the kernel software used in all major operating system, according to The Register.

By The original uploader was VD64992 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
While we don’t know a huge amount about what exactly is wrong with the Intel bug due to the current secrecy to avoid further exploits, rest assured knowing that both major hardware and software vendors are working to quickly and quietly fix the kernel issue. The Intel bug is apparently directly in Intel’s hardware, so Windows, Linux, and Mac will all be affected. It appears as if the fix that is set to be implemented may actually negatively impact your PC performance, which is an unfortunate result of such a major Intel bug.

Intel is a huge technology company that builds processors that run the majority of modern computer operating systems, so a major flaw in their product has catastrophic implications that could potentially impact hundreds of millions of devices. Manufacturers are scrambling to fix the Intel bug, but in the meantime many computers are open to this vulnerability. It will take collaboration across the industry to fix the bug, as Intel produces hardware that is used by pretty much every modern computer and program.

The Register’s reporting gives us some key insights into the issue while maintaining enough obscurity to avoid further exploits of the issue. We’ve included some information regarding the nature of the Intel bug, below.

What Is The Nature Of The Intel Bug?

The Intel bug affects the kernel, which is essentially an invisible process part of Intel’s equipment that allows your computer and programs to function properly. It’s an extremely crucial part of the processor and has near complete control over your computer. It’s easy to deduce, then, that an Intel bug affecting the kernel is a major problem.

The media isn’t really aware of how exactly the kernel is affected, but apparently there’s a memory leak within the kernel that has the potential to leak sensitive information to enterprising hackers that want to take control of your computer and data.

The impact of the Intel bug is absolutely massive. If you own a computer, you’re affected by the flaw. That’s no guarantee that your data will actually be accessed or used, but right now everyone’s at risk.

How Will The Intel Bug Be Fixed?

Although the Intel bug is a problem from Intel, it’s going to take collaboration with computer and software manufacturers to fix the bug. Once a processor is in a computer, there’s a limit to how much Intel can do to fix it. The problem will likely be fixed in future chips, but for the current release of computers, it’s up to the manufacturers of the various operating systems to implement a fix.

When Will We See A Fix?

Fortunately, we should see a fix pretty quickly. Programmers for Linux are already rolling out patches, and Microsoft has said that a fix is in progress as well. As of the writing of this article, Apple has not announced any changes to MacOS – but it would make sense that they will quickly address the issue as well.

The problem with these fixes, as mentioned above, is that your computer will likely see a slow down as a result. For many people, the slower speeds may not even be noticeable. The processes most affected by the fix will be virtualization and data center workloads, so the average computer user may not really see a change in the speed of their day to day activities.

What Can I Do In The Meantime?

To put it bluntly, there’s basically nothing you can do to safeguard your computer until the operating system updates fix the Intel bug. While the bug is not necessarily a cause for panic, it’s definitely something to be aware of. Continuing to protect your PC with regular security processes may help, but we’re largely at the mercy of Microsoft, Apple, and Linux as we eagerly anticipate an update to address the issue.