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Intel teases chip redesign to stop the Meltdown, Spectre defects

File photo: SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 16: The Intel logo is displayed outside of the Intel headquarters on January 16, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(2014 Getty Images)

Intel’s long-term solution for the Crisis and the Spectre defects associated with a chip redesign that introduces ‘ protective walls around the PC’s sensitive data.

“We have revamped parts of the processor to introduce new levels of protection through partitioning,” Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich said in a Thursday blog post. “Think of this distribution as an additional ‘protective walls’ between the applications and user privilege levels to create a barrier to bad actors.”

 

In January, Krzanich discussed “silicon-based changes” of the future Intel chips, but did not elaborate. On Thursday, Krzanich said the update will protect Intel-chips of the Meltdown of the vulnerability, and the second variant of the Spectre error. For now, the first variant of the Spectre error will continue to be addressed through software patches.

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The change in the hardware will work with the operating system of your PC to install virtual fences, to prevent attacks that take advantage of the second variant of the Spectre error. Intel’s processors will stop the threat without sacrificing speed of processing, ” he said.

The first chips equipped with the hardware protection, including the company’s Xeon line and the eighth generation of Intel Core processors, will come in the second half of 2018.

“But again, our work is not yet done. This is not a unique event; it is a long-term commitment,” Krzanich wrote.

These errors are difficult to resolve because they deal with the chip design. Both can essentially help malware steals data from your PC, including passwords, e-mails, and other sensitive data. In the meantime, the IT industry has rolled out software solutions that reduce the threat. But security researchers warn that the Spectre of error, in particular, remains a problem until chipmakers a redesign of their processors.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

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