Sparta Report

Intel Faces First Lawsuits Related to “Spectre” and “Meltdown”

Intel Corporation is facing a class action lawsuit over the Spectre and Meltdown flaws which are present in all their CPUs going back at least ten years:

Three class action complaints have been filed against Intel over the Meltdown and Spectre CPU security flaws that were discovered by researchers earlier this year and widely publicized earlier this week.

The three lawsuits—filed in CaliforniaIndiana, and Oregon (PDF)—cite not just the security vulnerabilities and their potential impact, but also Intel’s response time to them. Researchers notified Intel about the flaws in June. Now, Intel faces a big headache. The vast majority of its CPUs in use today are impacted, and more class action complaints may be filed beyond these three.

The three complaints also cite suggestions that devices using Intel’s CPUs will see significant slowdown as a result of addressing the security flaws. However, that point is in some dispute. In the course of its various public efforts to mitigate damage and address concerns, Intel has publicly said in a statement that these concerns are overblown.

Either way, the costs for Intel after Meltdown and Spectre could be significant. The Guardian consulted sources such as Fort Pitt Capital Group analyst Kim Forrest to paint a picture of what Intel faces. Regardless of the outcome of these class action suits, the paper writes that Intel will likely find itself in a poor bargaining position with its cloud customers and other enterprise partners and that it will likely have to spend more heavily on security in the future.

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