Cybersecurity apocalypse or new marketing strategy?

Recently Google and Microsoft found a new critical Spectre-like vulnerability in processors (CVE-2018-3639 or Variant 4). We won’t go into an explanation of how it works this time, but instead, see how processor manufacturers reacted to this announcement.

Intel and AMD recommended to install new patches, that like the previous ones are going to affect the performance of CPU, older processors in a greater degree than the new ones, of course. And only ARM that is not even that affected by the problem, only some portion of Cortex-A processors are vulnerable, promised to release new chips by July.

Another interesting fact, even though the full technical details of the first Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities were published at the beginning of this year, not a single successful attack was registered. The manufacturers knew about the issues even longer, yet it did not stop Intel releasing 2 generations of processors that solely ignore the issue on the hardware level, offering only new patches for drivers and operating systems.

Could that simply be a marketing strategy, that makes older technologies redundant sooner and forcing the users to buy new computers? Well, it sure looks like one: so far the only detrimental effect those vulnerability caused is a reduction of processing capabilities for up to 30% (on older models) via patches from the manufacturers of CPUs. It is not like the problems do not exist- they do, but perhaps they are not that critical, after all. 

The truth is that there is a key for every lock and no one if 100% safe. If you are targeted by hackers hardly anything can stop the assault. However, the majority of security threats act like a fishnet, trying to catch the ones who happened to wander in a wrong place in a wrong time. Learn how to say safe with London IT support, Bits and PCs.