Intel urges PC users to check for chipset flaw


Shares in Intel were down by 3.4 percent following the report but nudged back up 1.2 percent to $44.70 in after-hours trading while shares in AMD were up 1 percent to $11.77, shedding many of the gains they had made earlier in the day when reports suggested its chips were not affected.

PETALING JAYA: Computer users are advised to check if their Intel processor-based machines are affected by security vulnerabilities that were discovered recently.

The chipmaker has made available a diagnostic programme for users to run; it checks if the processor in a computer is affected.

If it is, the user is asked to download an update programme that will plug the security hole. Get the diagnostic from https://goo.gl/Yq6cx4

Cybersecurity company Positive Technologies Research had found that the vulnerabilities could enable hackers to take over a user’s computer remotely.

The issue was highlighted about four days ago and widely reported in the tech media.

Intel announced that firmware and software updates addressing the problem have been made available.

Only those Intel products listed in its security advisory are vulnerable and the chipmaker told The Star that it is unaware at this time if any computers have been attacked using this flaw.

It advised computer users to check their systems and install the security update if they needed to.

The National ICT Association of Malaysia said the number of affected users in the country could be large because the processors involved – Core Gen-6, 7 and 8 – are common here.

Computer users should be vigilant in such a situation, it added.

Cybersecurity company LGMS’ chief executive officer Fong Choong Fook also advised caution.

He said there is high usage of Intel processors here due to the chipmaker’s market share.

The chipsets listed as vulnerable, such as Atom E3900 and Celeron N, are used in digital surveillance, industrial automation and vehicle infotainment systems, he said, adding that while notebook and desktop users could easily update their computers, users of such systems may still be vulnerable.

Government agency Cyber­security Malaysia’s Respon­sive Services Division senior vice-president Dr Aswami Fadillah Mohd Ariffin agreed.

He said firmware and software updates are not always the simple solution when certain manufacturers have customised Intel processors for their products.

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