Without going into a huge amount of technical data. We have been tracking an issue with Intel processors which allows unauthorized access to otherwise more secure data on the processor.
The fix requires operating system patches (Mac/Windows/Linux/etc) to be install because replacing the processors in nearly 95% of the world does not seem to be a viable solution. Unfortunately, the OS updates will impose a cost for each system. We are not talking money, we are talking a performance hit of 17-40% of the processor that will suffer from how the information will soon be stored and retrieved.
The Register speculates that more specific information about the bug is currently under embargo as developers and large corporations such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft just to name a few work on patches. More details could come as soon as next week, directly from Intel.
[“Think of the kernel as God sitting on a cloud, looking down on Earth. It’s there, and no normal being can see it, yet they can pray to it.
These KPTI patches move the kernel into a completely separate address space, so it’s not just invisible to a running process, it’s not even there at all. Really, this shouldn’t be needed, but clearly there is a flaw in Intel’s silicon that allows kernel access protections to be bypassed in some way.”]
Note: A kernel is the central part of an operating system. It manages the operations of the computer and the hardware – most notably memory and CPU time. AMD processors do not appear to have the same issue at this time.
This continues to be a developing story and we expect to send an update soon from Intel and we will keep you posted on how we will be implementing the necessary updates and what this means for your computers.