Important security flaw in the Intel processors

Photo: Thomas Samson Archives Agence France-Presse

The processors built in the last 10 years by the american giant of the computer chips Intel could introduce a flaw of design that represent a real security risk to the computers, was revealed Wednesday, the site specialized british The Register.


“This is a very serious problem for two reasons : it affects the material, which complicates things, and this flaw could allow people to take control of a computer “, explained to AFP Gérôme Billois, an expert in cyber security at the cabinet Wavestone.


Intel, which has not yet officially communicated on the subject, would have given that information to companies so that they can develop fixes.


These fixes are in progress for the operating systems Linux and Windows, but no announcement has yet been made by Apple about macOS.


On Twitter, the founder of the hosting provider French OVH, Octave Klaba, has announced that the company was in the testing phase of the update before you start to apply it ” in the next few hours “.


A huge hardware BUG hit all the Intel x86 CPU. A software patch for Linux is ready. We are testing it and will start to deploy it in the next hours.

— Octave Klaba (@olesovhcom) January 3, 2018

“At the latest [Thursday], a new core network will be offered to all of our users. We will have to restart all the servers of cloud computing public, from Saturday, with an impact that we hope will be minimal for users, ” said Mr. Klaba.


“The rift is very deep, it requires a change in the heart of the operating system and thus restart the system. That this is OVH, Amazon, or Microsoft, all are trying now to ensure that this is at the minimum their clients, ” has detailed Gérôme Billois.


The fact remains that these fixes may have an impact on the performance of the machines involved, which can go “up to 30 % of performance in the least, which is huge,” he said.


“There will be a debate in some companies between performance and security, and some may choose not to do the update in order to keep the capacity of their machines, after having assessed risks,” according to him.


If these patches address the flaw in the short term, only the renewal of the devices will allow the businesses involved to protect themselves sustainably, “with the management issues that this will involve,” said Gérôme Billois.


At the end of 2016, Intel had already been faced with another gap on one of its products, but of lesser magnitude, the latter being much less common.