Intel Eyes More Defense from Future Bugs

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 12:04 PM gHale

As a result of the Spectre and Meltdown flaws identified in a number its CPUs, Intel will integrate Intel Security Essentials directly into its hardware.

The fallout from the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws found numerous processors, including Intel and AMD, had a much greater impact than people might realize. Because the issues were at the hardware level, it meant that fixing them with a patch was only a band-aid.

Spectre Fixes from Microsoft, AMD
Intel: No Spectre-Meltdown Fixes for Some Processors
Microsoft’s Out-of-Band Meltdown Patch
Chromebooks Patched Against Spectre Variant 2

A more permanent solution was needed, and Intel promised their next generation of CPUs wouldn’t inherit this flaw. It meant changes have to occur during the building process, but the company wants to

While they can’t know beforehand if other hardware issues reside in their product, they can make sure they have some protection in place. That is where Security Essentials comes into play.

The company said “we are also launching Intel Security Essentials, which will ensure a consistent set of critical root-of-trust hardware security capabilities across Intel Core, Intel Xeon and Intel Atom processors. These capabilities are platform integrity technologies for secure boot, hardware protections (for data, keys and other digital assets), accelerated cryptography and trusted execution enclaves to protect applications at runtime.”

The new technology should provide better security posture of computing, lower costs, and minimize the impact of security on performance. This last part is important because it also means other bugs won’t have a significant effect on performance when patched, and that’s pretty much what everyone wants.

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