Serious security flaws known as “spectre” and “meltdown” in Intel computer processors manufactured between 2008 and 2018 were found to impact millions of desktop or laptop computers, computer servers and other devices or systems. The security flaws allowed hackers to access computer information due to a process known as “multithreading”. This process allows for a computer system to share operating resources across programs or application but also allows for data to be stolen from one program to the next.
Intel offered software “patches” to solve the problem by blocking the multithreading process. Unfortunately, many users experienced a serious drop in computer speed and performance, slowing the computer to 50% or half of its normal speed. Because of the computer slowdowns caused by the patches, some may have chosen not to install the fix. Many of these users may be filing lawsuits due to this loss of performance.
Intel is also facing computer chip lawsuits due to the security risk itself from both consumer and business users whose data may have been compromised by the faulty Intel computer processing units. Some users may have chosen not to install the Intel security patch in order to avoid a slowdown. In addition, some computer users may have been compromised, even if their own machines were up to date as any unprotected computer within a network may expose other users on the same network.
Intel Computer Chip Security Flaw Discovery
In 2018, tech researchers found security flaws in Intel computer chips which used multithreading to increase performance of the computer in terms of speed and efficiency. Multithreading or hyperthreading allows computer processes to share data between applications or programs while a system is working. This process intended to increase speed, may also have allowed one program to see or even, “steal” data from another application, giving hackers a chance to steal data such as credit card or identity information.
Intel Security Patch Offered
Intel responded by offering security patches which were intended to block risk, but they work by disabling multithreading completely. This has resulted in a drop in speed and performance by as much as 50% for computer users who may have paid a premium price for high performance in their laptop, desktop or server-based computer system.
There is also some evidence that the patches will not work, and a firmware update will be required, which means that the user who purchased a computer may need to replace individual parts or purchase a whole new system. Unfortunately, the meltdown and spectre problems may affect millions of machines, in fact all computers using Intel 86-64x CPUs manufactured between 2008 and 2018.
Intel Meltdown & Spectre Security Flaws Lawsuit Claims
Consumers who purchased computers with Intel chips paid billions of dollars for Intel’s defective 86-64x CPUs, which had been promoted as “premium” products with advanced technology which would dramatically increase performance and security. The patch offered by Intel, which may not be effective at solving the security issue, eliminates the advantages that computer users may have paid extra to obtain and may still leave them vulnerable.
It also appears that Intel may have known that a security defect was present in its CPUs long before consumers were informed, and that the issue may have been disclosed only because it was discovered by independent researchers. This may have willfully exposed consumers to a number of risks, as well as causing them to pay for a product that did not work as advertised or marketed.
In addition to consumers who may be seeking compensation for computer slowdown, businesses and consumers who suffered from a security risk or breach are filing lawsuits as well.
Filing a Lawsuit for Intel Computer Chip Performance Loss
Seeger Weiss LLP is co-leading the nationwide lawsuit against Intel Corp., on behalf of consumers who purchased computers and other devices containing Intel computer chips. Plaintiffs claim that the company’s processors suffer from inherent security flaws, and that their downloadable “patch” considerably slows processing speeds and may not even fix the security vulnerabilities.
Current consumer litigation against Intel “In re Intel Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2828 (D. Oregon)” claims that its processing chips were defective and inferior products that lacked the quality and capability it continuously represented in its sales and marketing materials. As such, Intel violated state deceptive trade practice statutes and warranty and tort laws by making and selling them. Plaintiffs’ claims include breach of warranty and implied warranty, violations of state consumer protection laws, fraud and fraudulent concealment, negligence, restitution, and unjust enrichment.
System performance impacted by the security patch on Intel computer chips may be most affected when multitasking between multiple applications and tabs in web browser or while running high resource I/O-Intensive problems like photo editing, gaming or computational programs.
Consumers may be eligible for compensation if they:
- Purchased a laptop or desktop computer or computer server with an Intel CPU between 2008 and before January 3, 2018
- Installed all the available and up-to-date security patches for Spectre and/or Meltdown Intel security flaw
- Observed or felt sluggishness, delays or decreased performance when using the computer, particularly during complex tasks
- Can provide details on the affected device including computer model, CPU model, Drive or disk type, and other information
If you feel you may have been affected by the Intel computer chip security flaw and patch slowdown, seek legal advice.
- Running on Intel? If you want security, disable hyper-threading, says Linux kernel maintainer, The Register (10/2019)
- A major new Intel processor flaw could defeat encryption and DRM protections, TheVerge (06/2029)
- A major new Intel processor flaw could defeat encryption and DRM protections, TheVerge (03/2020)