Aug 15, 2018

Intel reveals 3 more chip vulnerabilities

Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Intel disclosed Tuesday three chip vulnerabilities that could allow access to sensitive computer memory data, according to a company blog post.

Why it matters: It’s a trend in the chip market. In January, security researchers unveiled a decade-long vulnerability that would let hackers steal information from almost every modern device, server, and smartphone. Axios' Ina Fried messages from vacation: "When Intel disclosed those flaws, it was clear that it was a whole new category of vulnerability that we were likely to see more of. Now we are."

  • The flaws revealed this week, known as L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF) flaws, could allow nefarious actors to access a data cache that shows what processors are most likely to do next.
  • The severity of the flaw is rated as "high" based on the National Vulnerability Database standards. Intel sells over 90% of the processors used in data centers and corporate clouds.
  • The company says it is not aware of examples of the gaps being exploited, but it has released updates to patch the issue.

What they're saying:

  • Microsoft: A Microsoft spokesperson said fixes to the gaps have been issued.
  • Red Hat tells Axios it has several products affected, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6 and 7 as well as 13 other products.
  • AMD claims it is not susceptible.
  • Arm Cortex cores are not affected by the attack, according to a spokesperson.
  • Apple has not returned request for comment.

What's next: "The datacenter market doesn’t switch overnight," per Kevin Krewell, a principal analyst at TIRIAS Research. For now, "the processor vendors like Intel...can go back in and change their processor designs going forward," he said.

  • Yes, but: The disclosure of these flaws this year has opened up a whole new field of research that wasn't tapped into before, per Krewell. As a result, "expect to see more of these coming out over time," he told Axios.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,595,350 — Total deaths: 95,455 — Total recoveries: 353,975Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 461,437 — Total deaths: 16,478 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  6. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  7. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  8. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return to the air this weekend with a remotely produced episode.
  9. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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The view from the other side of the coronavirus peak

We'll soon be crowding into cafes it's 1954 in Rapallo, Italy. Photo: LIFE Picture Collection via Getty

Europeans and Americans are desperate to move beyond the worst of the crisis and return to something approximating normality, but the World Health Organization is cautioning that moving too fast will undermine the sacrifices made so far.

Where things stand: Nearly every country on Earth is still seeing their caseload increase, and a recent uptick in Singapore shows that apparent victory over the virus can be fleeting. But several countries are providing reason for optimism.

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