Class action filed against Intel alleging processor defects affecting security

Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Steve Larson

A class action has been filed in California, January 3, 2018, less than 24 hours after Intel Corp. announced that patches to fix an alleged security defect in its chips could result in potential performance-slowing in its chips. The complaint alleges that Intel isn’t making customers whole with the patch because they’re getting a slower system than they bargained for.

The security defect will impact just about everyone with a Google, Amazon or Apple account, as Intel’s x86-64x central processing units — with the alleged problematic vulnerability — have been installed in most computers, laptops and servers since 2008, according to the complaint.

Intel said in a news release Thursday that it is pushing out software and firmware updates to fix the problem.

The trouble started late last year, when security researchers alerted Intel that computing devices with the company’s technology were vulnerable to software analysis methods — which Intel calls “exploits” — that could allow malicious users to gather sensitive data from the devices.

Intel said in a statement that any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.

The case is Steven P. Garcia et al. v. Intel Corp., case number 5:18-cv-00046, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.