Intel Addresses Meltdown & Spectre During Its Keynote – CES 2018

Intel’s CES 2018 keynote address took a decisive turn away from the comparatively more defensive posture previously taken by the company on the matter of two vulnerabilities that were recently discovered – namely, Meltdown and Spectre. In fact, company CEO Brian Krzanich promised that a substantial portion of the company’s previously released processors would see updates by the end of the week. Specifically, that applies 90-percent of the processors and products sold by the company over the last 5 years – which is likely to be welcome news to millions of Intel’s customers around the globe. Better still, remaining Intel products have been promised an update by the end of the month, bringing the company’s timeline on par with that of some other tech giants

Continuing on that positive note, the executive also took a moment to directly thank the entire industry for joining together to find solutions and workarounds for the problem. Krzanich’s sentiments shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. While it isn’t unusual for so many competing companies to be brought together against a common enemy, this is one case where organizations from effectively across the board openly divulged and shared information about mitigation methods with one another. That, in turn, helped solutions to be brought forward far more quickly than may otherwise have happened. Moreover, Krzanich’s attitude was especially fitting, with consideration for the generally all-inclusive nature of the event at which he was speaking.

Before moving on to more topics more traditionally addressed at CES events, Krznich also spoke on concerns about possible exploitations of the vulnerabilities and possible ramifications associated with their mitigation measures. According to the CEO, as of the keynote, Intel has not received any reports to suggest that the exploits have ever been used. Furthermore, Intel is reportedly continuing to work “tirelessly” to keep it that. With regard to performance degradation resulting from patches for the vulnerabilities, Krzanich repeated the company’s claim that any impact will be dependent on the workload involved in any given circumstance and that the degree to which any system is impacted will vary. In the meantime, Krznich concluded, a continuation of joint efforts from across the industry to solve that problem as it comes is underway

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