Intel has done a good job at fixing a major security vulnerability in a driver utility tool. The vulnerability could have allowed hackers to remotely install malware. The chip maker has requested that users download the latest version of the software as it takes care of the vulnerability in how the software gets new drivers from Intel’s servers.
Intel fixed a major flaw
Intel has confirmed that versions 2.0 to 2.3 made PCs vulnerable as they check Intel’s servers over an unencrypted connection. This could allow an attacker to use a man-in-the-middle attack to benefit from the affected software by making it download malicious files. Version 2.4 – the updated tool – connects to Intel’s server over a secure SSL connection.
Core Security, the firm that pointed out the vulnerability in November, said using the flaw would be insignificant as it is easy to bypass the tool’s verification. Core Security also detailed the flaw on the Full Disclosure mailing list. As of now, it is not known how many users were affected by the flaw. There has been no comment from the chip maker about the matter as yet.
Deepening ties with China
In related news, the U.S. chip maker has entered into an unusual partnership with two Chinese firms. The venture could help mitigate safety concerns about imported technology. The chip maker is funding an arrangement with Tsinghua University and Montage Technology Global Holdings that supports Chinese officials’ strategy to lower dependence on foreign-made semiconductors.
“We believe this new collaboration is a win-win as it enables TU and Montage to innovate alongside standard Intel Xeon processors to create new and compelling indigenous products while preserving the respective intellectual-property ownership of all parties,” the chip maker said in a blog post.
Intel, which has been present in China for three decades now, has only one chip fabrication facility in the region. The announcement follows growing concern about the health of the Chinese economy. Intel echoed similar concerns when guiding for the first quarter, which lead to a sharp fall in its stock price. However, the majority of analysts expect the Chinese slowdown to affect PCs only and not purchases in the data center segment.
On Wednesday, Intel shares closed down 0.70% at $29.59. Year to date, the stock is down by over 14%, while in the last year, it is down by almost 19%.