Intel starts issuing patches for Meltdown, Spectre vulnerabilities

Intel says it has already issued updates for the majority of its processor products released in the last five years.

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(Image: Intel Corporation)

Intel on Thursday began issuing patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities linked to its processors.

In a press release, the Santa Clara-based tech giant said it has "developed and is rapidly issuing updates for all types of Intel-based computer systems -- including personal computers and servers -- that render those systems immune from both exploits reported by Google Project Zero."

The two critical chip vulnerabilities date back more than two decades and were found to enable an attacker to steal data from the memory of running apps, such as data from password managers, browsers, emails, photos, and documents. The researchers who discovered the vulnerabilities said that "almost every system," since 1995, including computers and phones, is affected by the bug.

Read also: Major Linux redesign in the works to deal with Intel security flaw

Intel says it has already issued updates for the majority of its processor products released in the last five years. By the end of next week, the company expects to have updates for 90 percent of the past five years' processors.

Additionally, Intel said that "many operating system vendors, public cloud service providers, device manufacturers and others have indicated that they have already updated their products and services." It's still unclear when Intel will have patches ready for processors that are more than five years old.

Intel maintains that there are no known exploits for the vulnerabilities, but it's encouraging computer users worldwide to enable automatic updates of their operating systems and other computer software to keep their systems up-to-date.

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