Just how serious are the Meltdown and Spectre microprocessor vulnerabilities for Intel? Enough for the company’s CEO Brian Krzanich to divert from its otherwise glitzy CES keynote in Las Vegas to address concerns about the security problems impacting many of the world’s chips.
Krzanich didn’t provide any significant new information for those who have been following the issue closely. In many ways, given the news of the past week, it might have been more striking if he didn’t address the issue. But at an industry event known for rah-rah presentations and fantastic visions of the future, the statement was a reality check, reminding everyone of the downsides and risks of the technology that’s changing our world.
Here’s his statement, as distributed by Intel.
Today is a day when we all come together to celebrate the lifeblood of our amazing industry – and that’s really about innovation. But before we start, I want to take a moment to thank the industry for coming together for another purpose – to address the recent security research findings reported as ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre.’
The collaboration among so many companies to address this industry-wide issue across several different processor architectures has been truly remarkable. Security is job number one for Intel and our industry. So, the primary focus of our decisions and our discussions have been to keep our customer’s data safe.
As of now, we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data. And we are working tirelessly on these issues to ensure it stays that way. The best thing you can do to make sure your data remains safe is to apply any updates from your operating system vendor and system manufacturer as soon as they become available.
For our processors, products introduced in the past five years, Intel expects to issue updates for more than 90 percent of them within a week and the remaining by the end of January. We believe the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent. As a result, we expect some workloads may have a larger impact than others, so we will continue working with the industry to minimize the impact on those workloads over time.
Watch the archived live stream of the Intel keynote below.