A recent report issued by the US government and some leading security experts found that there are built-in flaws in all computer microchips that make’s hacking an unstoppable issue. According to the report, AMD, Intel and Arm holdings processes have a security flaw in their design. Hackers and Crackers can both circumvent any operating system as well as a security system by targeting their attacks through these processors. The two flaws have been dubbed specter and meltdown.
Since 99% of the computer market is built with these chips, the report offers only two possible options. The first is that IT companies manufacture new chips and replace all the old ones, this is an economic nightmare that would cripple the market. The second option is that cyber security software combats the flaws directly, in some instances this will slow down processing power significantly.
The other missing option, and what we consider is the next viable step, is the development of a new chip and the introduction of a new generation of processors. This will mean that any company or establishment that wants a secure chip system will need to replace their old one by buying a new computer. The cost will be high on the end user, but will not cripple the manufacturers. The current trend is to continue to use the flawed chips and rely on cyber security to counter the flaws. Consumers might be irate about having to pay for extra services to combat a flaw that should not be there.
Rapid 7’s director of research, Tod Breadsley said that the hardware vulnerability flaws were most significant, but he thinks it’s unlikely that the companies will replace all the market hardware. While founder and CEO of Luta Security, Kate Moussouris stated that hackers are already exploiting these flaws.
Now let’s analyze this. We present a situation; when smoking tobacco was proven to be cancerous, smoking companies were immediately sued for their misrepresentation of a dangerous substance. Another industry that comes under constant attack is the automotive industry that makes product recalls and replaces faulty car parts at their own cost. Now, in comparison, when computer companies sell processors, they misrepresent their products by stating they are the fastest and most secure products on the market. They do not notify the public that their products have a flaw that endangers the owner’s data. In this instance, we are looking at major class action suits appearing in the future. We also expect that new emerging processor companies will try to beat the giants and present flawless processors to the market, immediately challenging the giants. Remember, the large companies image is now sullied, will consumers believe the chips have been rectified?
So, we ask; why should a consumer take a car in for a recall repair, the tobacco industry has to print dire warnings of danger to health and the processor chip industry be left alone?