Intel has revealed today that the company is facing at least 32 lawsuits over the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws. "As of February 15, 2018, 30 customer class action lawsuits and two securities class action lawsuits have been filed," says Intel in an SEC filing today. The customer class action lawsuits are "seeking monetary damages and equitable relief," while the securities lawsuits "allege that Intel and certain officers violated securities laws by making statements about Intel's products and internal controls that were revealed to be false or misleading by the disclosure of the security vulnerabilities."
Intel is also facing action from three shareholders who have each filed shareholder derivative actions that allege certain board members and officers at Intel have failed "to take action in relation to alleged insider trading." These filings appear to be related to the concerns that have been raised over Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's stock sales.
It's no surprise to see Intel facing multiple lawsuits, and the company warns it could face many more in the future. The Meltdown and Spectre security flaws have helped reveal fundamental issues with processor designs over the past 20 years, and the software updates to protect PCs have had noticeable performance impacts. Intel's response to the security flaws lacked transparency at first, and it was left largely to Microsoft to reveal the true extent of the performance issues.
Intel has struggled to patch its processors for the Spectre flaw, as its initial updates caused reboots on some machines. Microsoft was also forced to issue an emergency Windows update to disable Intel's buggy Spectre fixes. Intel has now resumed issuing Skylake firmware updates, while it continues to test updates for Broadwell, Haswell and other processors. The company is also extending its bug bounty program to ensure it discovers this type of security problem a lot sooner in the future.
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