Zombieload Bug Fix Will Mire Chips Down

Zombieload Bug Fix Will Mire Chips Down
Apple Macintosh computers could run 40 per cent slower after a parch for the Zombieload flaw is installed.

(CCM) — A newly discovered flaw in Intel processors leaves owners with a stark choice: ignore the problem and risk being comprehensively hacked, or install a software fix which risks slowing down the host computer significantly.

The Zombieload bug was uncovered by researchers in Austria and Belgium, and these researchers say that it enables attackers to steal data and the encryption keys needed to unscramble encrypted data.

It affects personal computers and laptops, include Apple Macintosh machines, as well as servers and computing resources in clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, if they are powered by Intel Core or Xeon–branded processors released since 2011. Intel says that the performance hit after installing the fix will be minimal for consumers, although cloud and data center operators could be affected more materially.

But Apple has warned that applying the software fix to its Mac computers can reduce performance by up to 40 per cent, while Intel has demonstrated a computer running at 81 per cent of its previous speed when running programs written in the Java computer language.

Software fixed for the Zombieload bug are available for computers running Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Image: © Natasha Eibl.