Researchers at Amsterdam’s VU university have discovered a major leak in Intel microchips which make it possible to get hold of passwords and other sensitive information.
The vulnerability, named Rogue In-Flight Data Load, was discovered a year ago but only just made public to give Intel time to develop an acceptable fix.
The leak covered all Intel processors made since 2008 and would have been extremely easy to abuse, the researchers say.
‘Even if home users used their browsers to visit a website with an advert or other content with a malware Java programme, the hacker could still steal information,’ the researchers say. There were also problems with cloud services.
However, Herbert Bos, who was in charge of the research, told broadcaster RTL Z that most consumers should not immediately be very concerned and that specific targets, such as senior employees of a company or senior government officials, were more likely to have been victims.
Intel has now taken steps to close the leaks and protect users, who are now being recommended to update their processors and software.
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