You may have heard of the Meltdown and Spectre security defects. These affect virtually all Intel Corp., computer processors, which are believed to contain security flaws that may give hackers access to sensitive data and private information stored on personal computers, servers – including cloud-based servers – and mobile devices. A “patch” intended to secure the vulnerabilities does not appear to fully resolve the issues, however, and requires extensive changes that could dramatically reduce the performance, and most notably the speed, of core processors (CPUs).
With no true fix available, consumers are left with few options aside from:
- Continuing to use impacted devices as is, despite the risk to their personal information
- Purchasing new devices that aren’t affected
- Patching the flaw at a potential loss to functionality and the quality of their experience.
In light of these known security flaws and lack of an adequate remedy, Motley Rice is investigating claims that Intel manufactured and sold processors that ultimately were not suitable for purchase or fit for use. If you were forced to replace a device, suffered a data breach or are experiencing performance degradation related to Intel processor security flaws, you may have a claim.
Motley Rice cybersecurity experience
Motley Rice attorneys have experience representing victims impacted by cybersecurity breaches and flaws, including filing class action suits on behalf of victims who were exposed in the massive Equifax breach in September 2017. Attorney Jodi Westbrook Flowers also holds a leadership position as co-liaison counsel in the In re 21st Century Oncology Customer Data Breach Litigation.
Intel security flaw background
Security weaknesses associated with Intel core processors are the result of design flaws that are believed to compromise the majority of modern processors in the U.S., including Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as cloud-based servers provided by Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
The flaws are equipped in Intel’s x86-64 hardware, which was first introduced in 2004 and is still in use in the majority of today’s computers, smart devices and servers.
Media reports regarding the security flaws first surfaced in November 2017 and alleged that, if not resolved, the vulnerabilities could enable hackers to run unauthorized programs, crash systems, impersonate system security checks and steal private data.
On Jan. 3, 2018, Intel issued a press release acknowledging the defect, stating that the company had begun providing software and firmware updates to help resolve the issue. The company downplayed any potential performance impacts the updates could cause, claiming impacts would be “workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.”
On Jan. 8, 2018, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated that “as of now, we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data. And we are working tirelessly on these issues to ensure it stays that way.”
The Guardian (Jan. 4, 2018): Meltdown and Spectre: ‘worst ever’ CPU bugs affect virtually all computers
The Guardian (Jan. 4, 2018): Spectre and Meltdown processor security flaws – explained
Law360 (Jan. 4, 2018): Intel Hit With Consumer Class Action Over Security Issue
The Guardian (Jan. 3, 2018): Major security flaw found in Intel processors
Popular Mechanics (Jan. 3, 2018): Horrific Security Flaw Affects Decade of Intel Processors