Lawmaker calls on microchip makers for briefing after Spectre, Meltdown disclosures

Rep. Jerry McNerney has reached out to the CEOs of Intel, Arm Holdings, and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD).
intel chip flaw
(Flickr user lungstruck // CC-BY-2.0)

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., has requested a briefing with the CEOs of Intel, Arm Holdings, and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) — companies that produce computer processors that have been exposed to security vulnerabilities.

Earlier this month, cybersecurity experts discovered modern processor chip flaws called “Meltdown” and “Spectre” and since then, computer processor companies have been scrambling to deploy fixes. The flaws involve deep-rooted vulnerabilities in most microchips that could allow hackers to access and steal sensitive documents and information.

Each company has implemented software patches to repair systems and devices affected by Meltdown. Spectre, on the other hand, cannot be easily repaired — there’s currently no known fix for it yet besides redesigning the processors from scratch.

Since companies like Intel have implemented patches, computers with its processors have been performing slower. Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, addressed the vulnerabilities at CES, stating that the company is still working through these issues.


McNerney listed topics to discuss as part of his aforementioned request, such as which chips are susceptible to the vulnerabilities,  evidence of exploitation to the vulnerabilities and steps each company is taking to make chips more secure in the future.

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