Intel fires back at 'inaccurate' reports of critical memory flaw in its chips

After hours of silence, Intel has finally responded to reports of a critical flaw in its CPUs that had tech giants scrambling to release patches to update their systems.

Despite AMD releasing a statement claiming that its processors are “not susceptible” to the reported flaws due to “differences in AMD’s architecture”, Intel says the issue is not “unique” to the company’s CPUs and that it is working with AMD and ARM to find a solution.  

Even though proof-of-concept code has been released by the researchers who discovered the vulnerabilities, dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre”, that shows sensitive data stored on a system is susceptible to being stolen, Intel has refuted the claim. The chip manufacturing giant claims it’s actually “software analysis methods” that could potentially see personal information pinched from a device.

Getting patched up

Reports suggesting that any patches to overcome the issue could slow down a PC's performance by up to 30% are also being shot down by Intel. A statement released by the company claims, “Contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.”

Intel is asking users to “check with your operating system vendor or system manufacturer and apply any available updates as soon as they are available.”

Thankfully, Google and Microsoft are already on the job – Android phones with the latest security updates should be safe, says Google, while Microsoft has released a patch for Windows machines and should automatically update for anyone running Windows 10.

Apple has reportedly partially addressed the flaw in its recent 10.13.2 macOS update, which was released to the public on December 6. Further tweaks will be added to the 10.13.3 update, which is currently in beta testing.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.