Intel CEO vows to keep customer data safe

Intel CEO vows to keep customer data safe

LOS ANGELES: Chip maker Intel Corporation's chief executive said that data security is the company's "primary focus," responding to recent findings of chip security flaws.

Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., addressed the industry at the opening of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, an annual trade show presenting new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry, which kicked off on Monday in the U.S. city of Las Vegas.

"Security is job number one for Intel and our industry. So, the primary focus of our decisions and our discussions have been to keep our customers' data safe," Krzanich said.

"As of now, we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data ... And we are working tirelessly on these issues to ensure it stays that way," Krzanich referred to the recent security research findings reported as "Meltdown" and "Spectre," two methods of exploiting a security vulnerability found in Intel chips.

Researchers with Google's Project Zero team, in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries, first discovered the two flaws last year. The security bug, if used for malicious purposes, has the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices.

The vulnerability was then publicly exposed earlier this month by a British technology website, the Register.

In a statement, the world's top chip maker confirmed the report and promised to fix the bug as soon as possible, adding that the vulnerability is not unique to Intel products.

Chips from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and ARM Holdings are also affected, albeit to varying degrees.

Intel said it is working with its tech partners such as AMD, ARM Holdings and several operating system vendors to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve this issue "promptly and constructively."

Krzanich, in his remarks, said the collaboration to address this industry-wide issue across several different processor architectures "has been truly remarkable."

"The best thing you can do to make sure your data remains safe is to apply any updates from your operating system vendor and system manufacturer as soon as they become available," said Krzanich.

Wang Hongbin, vice president of law and policy group general counsel of Intel China, said the chip giant expects to issue updates within a week for more than 90 percent of its processors introduced in the past five years, and for the remaining by the end of January.