CHIPMAKER Intel is facing multiple class-action lawsuits over the 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' vulnerabilities affecting all of its x64-64x processors from the last decade.
The chip design flaws, which affect everything from iOS and macOS to Linux and Windows, could lead to hackers extracting important protected information such as passwords and encryption keys from programmes and operating systems if exploited.
Although reports claim the flaws have not yet been exploited, The Guardian reports that Intel has, perhaps unsurprisingly, quickly been whacked by a handful of class-action lawsuits, with three separate suits having been filed by plaintiffs in California, Oregon and Indiana.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation from the chip giant, citing the security vulnerability as well as Intel's failure to disclose it in a timely fashion.
They also cite the alleged computer slowdown that will be caused by the fixes needed to address the security concerns, although Intel disputes that this will be the case.
"Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time," it said in a statement earlier this week.
"While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact."
Lawyer Bill Doyle of Doyle APC, who is representing plaintiffs Steven Garcia and Anthony Stachowiak who filed suit in the northern district of California, said: "The security vulnerability revealed by these reports suggests that this may be one of the largest security flaws ever facing the American public.
"It is imperative that Intel acts swiftly to fix the problem and ensure consumers are fully compensated for all losses suffered as a result of their actions."
More lawsuits are expected to follow, and it's expected that most big cloud service providers, such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, will likely seek some form of compensation from Intel. µ
Put a Ring-Con on it
We know. We're as surprised as you are
It's available across all major UK networks