Safety and Security

Security Flaw Puts Most Connected Devices At Risk

Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and ARM Holdings were facing flack Wednesday (Jan. 3) after the release of a new security research report warning of security flaws that make computing systems vulnerable to hackers.

According to a report in Reuters, security researchers warned that any computer device that has chips from Intel, AMD and ARM are at risk. One of the security flaws is limited to Intel, but another flaw can put smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets and internet servers at risk.

Researchers at Alphabet’s Google Project Zero first spotted the flaws, along with academia and industry researchers residing in different countries.

One security flaw, dubbed Meltdown, impacts Intel semiconductors, enabling hackers to get past barriers between user-run apps and the computer's memory, enabling bad guys to steal passwords. The other security flaw, Spectre, impacts chips from all three companies, meaning that hackers can trick error-free apps into providing confidential data.

In an interview with Reuters, Daniel Gruss, one of the researchers at Graz University of Technology who discovered Meltdown, said the security flaw is “probably one of the worst CPU bugs ever found.” While he noted that it is a big problem, he said that software patches could stop it in its tracks. On the other hand, the Spectre bug is more difficult for hackers to breach, but because it can’t be patched, it could be a longer-term problem.

During an interview with CNBC covered by Reuters, Intel's chief executive, Brian Krzanich, said the company was alerted to the flaws by Google researchers “a while ago.” He noted that the semiconductor company has been testing fixes that device makers will release next week. “Phones, PCs, everything are going to have some impact, but it’ll vary from product to product,” said the executive.

——————————

NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

TRENDING RIGHT NOW