Opinion DC Comment 07 Jan 2018 When the chips are d ...

When the chips are down

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jan 7, 2018, 7:08 am IST
Updated Jan 7, 2018, 7:08 am IST
All desktops, laptops, mobile phones and cloud servers — are vulnerable because of two processor flaws called Spectre and Meltdown.
Spectre affects nearly all computer chips while Meltdown affects only Intel Corp chips.
 Spectre affects nearly all computer chips while Meltdown affects only Intel Corp chips.

The news about the great computer debacle is not good at all. All computers — desktops, laptops, mobile phones and cloud servers — are vulnerable because of two processor flaws called Spectre and Meltdown that were brought to light last week. Apple users, who may historically have had a reason to feel more secure than others, are all also in the same boat now as Spectre affects nearly all computer chips while Meltdown affects only Intel Corp chips. The good news is there is no bad news yet about hackers having exploited the processor flaws thus far. Experts are agreeing that wholesale hardware replacement, which could take years, is not considered necessary and that security patches would be sufficient to seal the flaws and secure the devices. However, life in the modern era is beset with the even graver fear that no device is beyond being breached and personal data and identity, etc. being stolen.

The progenitor of Linux, the free operating system, hit out at Intel Corp for having left everyone vulnerable like this. While Linus Torvalds may have a chip on his shoulder regarding making uncountable billions out of selling operating systems as the big tech corporates do, where his criticism is most valid is in pointing fingers at the CEO of Intel, Brian Kraznich, for having dumped about half his stock months after he may have learnt about the flaws in billions of his Intel microchips. His company has defended him saying it was pre-arranged, automated sale schedule. Whether you wish to believe that explanation or not, what becomes obvious is the common man is always the one suckered into paying for someone else’s mistakes and misdeeds. If the cost of saving one’s data and identity from being stolen is a few rupees, everyone would forego it but when there is so much corporate chicanery involved, it does make life seem so unjust.

 

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