Technology > Security

Authorities discovered that the security feature in Intel has been breached. / Photo by: BrokenSphere via Wikimedia Commons

 

Tech giant Intel has always included revolutionary security features in their processors for years, thereby safeguarding users’ personal data. Unfortunately, researchers have recently shown that Intel’s system may, in fact, be subject to hacking through a method called Foreshadow. Even worse, information that’s stored and processed in the cloud can also be susceptible to this form of attack. To prevent this from happening, Intel is releasing patches and updates for its products.

Computer systems are made up of multiple complex layers, and each layer consists of millions of lines of code. As this code is done manually, the risk for errors is quite significant.

Computer viruses can exploit such errors and gain access to personal and sensitive information stored on the computer, anything from security codes to business receipts. To combat this, Intel has introduced an innovative technology in 2015 known as the Intel Software Guard eXtensions (Intel SGX). The security program creates isolated pockets in the computer’s memory where data and programs could be stored safely.

Up until recently, this form of technology was almost foolproof, but researchers from KU Leuven University in Belgium have discovered a security loophole. Together with Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and The University of Adelaide, they launched an attack called Foreshadow that successfully revealed the content of these small pockets.

The scientists have already informed Intel of this security risk back in January, making sure that the company is given enough time to resolve the issue. A recent analysis performed by the company itself showed that the impact of Foreshadow was greater than imagined. Intel has recently released an update to repair this flaw in their processors.