CREDIT SUISSE: People are making 'mountains from molehills' over Intel's security flaw

  • Flaws in the central processing units of many manufacturers rocked the computing world on Wednesday.
  • Credit Suisse says the flaws really aren’t a big deal because there are already patches, and the issue will be eliminated with future hardware.
  • Watch Intel’s stock trade in real time here.

Intel’s central processing units have a major security flaw that requires all operating systems to be patched and could slow down systems by as much as 30%. But it’s not really a big deal, Credit Suisse said on Thursday.

John Pitzer, an analyst at Credit Suisse, had four main reasons for thinking that everyone is making “mountains from molehills” regarding the Intel chip flaw.

  1. Hackers could potentially see sensitive information, but can’t change it.
  2. Google, which originally discovered the flaw, said that it impacts more than just Intel CPUs.
  3. It will soon be patched with software and eliminated in new hardware.
  4. It is not expected to change Intel’s timing of new products.

The chip flaw was originally discovered by Google engineers and has to do with a problem in the CPU hardware. The flaw allows hackers to exploit how programs talk to the computer hardware to extract sensitive information stored in the system memory.

The flaw affects Intel CPUs produced over the last decade and would affect any computer using the chips, regardless of operating system. Google informed Intel and other chip manufacturers of the flaw months ago, and programmers have been working to patch the flaw since then.

Intel’s stock slumped on Wednesday after the news was reported, while rival AMD’s share soared. Pitzer said that while Intel’s chips are perhaps the most vulnerable, parts of the flaw also exist in ARM and AMD chips.

Pitzer is neutral Intel because he thinks it’s expensive. His price target of $US42 is just below its current price of $US43.19.

Intel shares are down 5.09% at $US42.97 on Thursday and have fallen 7.75% since the news broke on Wednesday.

Read about how Intel’s CEO sold shares in the company after learning about the security flaw.

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