Several companies have moved quickly to release updates to their products and services in a bid to forestall any exploitation of vulnerabilities in Intel chips.
The vulnerabilities affect a wide range of products and services that not only use Intel chips, but chips from other vendors too. These include servers that are used for cloud computing, computers and other personal devices. This could allow hackers to gain access to information on the chip’s memory such as passwords.
The vulnerability that affects Intel chips is known as Meltdown, while the one affecting other manufacturers is called Spectre.
Microsoft announced that it is working with chip manufacturers to protect its customers by providing updates to its cloud services. The company also said that it has released security updates for Windows used on personal computers and servers that run on chips from different vendors including AMD Intel and Arm. Other updates released were for the company’s Edge and Internet Explorer.
Google has also updated its cloud services to mitigate any possible attacks. The search giant said that updates were performed using the VM Live Migration technology without impacting customer experience. Google customers were however advised to update operating systems they use on the Google cloud. The company added that it has updated its Chrome operating system and has not identified any vulnerability in Android devices.
Amazon on the other hand said that the vulnerability has been present for more than 20 years in processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM across mobile devices, servers and desktops. The company assured its customers that its AWS cloud services were already protected but advised customers to update their operating systems.
Intel, which manufactures chips that are affected by the vulnerability, said that patches to operating systems will not cause performance slowdowns as has been reported elsewhere but in cases where such slowdowns are experienced they are workload-dependent.
Another tech company Red Hat, said that it is working on updates to its products which will be made available on an ongoing basis. The company, which distributes Linux said that some of their patches are already live and more will be released soon.