Intel processors from last 10 years could have huge security flaw

Ben Travis
Security issue: ten years of Intel processors could be affected by newly-discovered flaw: Justin Sullivan/Getty

A ‘fundamental’ security flaw in computer tech company Intel’s processor chips has been discovered – and it could affect the last ten years of its products.

According to The Register, the design of Intel processors could let malicious software read protected data and possibly expose passwords and other key information in a computer’s kernel memory.

With the flaw occurring at a hardware level, it is said to affect all operating systems – including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The report keeps the exact details of the issue under wraps for security purposes, and developers currently working on patches to fix the issue.

In further bad news, the updates are expected to make Intel-powered computers run considerably slower, with a performance decrease of up to 30%.

“These updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products,” The Register writes.

“The effects are still being benchmarked, however we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model.

“More recent Intel chips have features – such as PCID – to reduce the performance hit. Your mileage may vary.”

Updates to fix the issue are expected in the coming weeks.