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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

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

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