what threatens the leak of 20 GB of source code and other data from Intel Corporation

Фото Ashley Pon / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Фото Ashley Pon / Bloomberg via Getty Images

On August 6, data from Intel, the world leader in the production of microprocessors with a capitalization of more than $ 206 billion, was leaked. Not only the reputation and business of the company, but also users are at risk of damaging the information: Intel may not be able to release updates for devices with its chips. The company itself denies the leak

IT-consultant from Switzerland Till Kottmann shared information on his Twitter account about a massive data breach from Intel, the world’s leading processor manufacturer. According to him, an unknown anonymous hacker provided him with data obtained as a result of hacking the corporation’s servers. As evidence, Kottmann made some of the stolen materials publicly available. According to him, the posted part of the files with a total volume of more than 20 GB is the first of an upcoming series of large leaks by Intel.

Among the information received by the hackers were classified data describing both released and planned Intel processors, data on the company’s plans (roadmaps, internal documents), software source code, debug versions of some developments, diagrams, marketing materials and information about developments for the space corporation Elon Musk SpaceX. Some files were protected by the password “Intel123”. According to Kottmann, the files in this form were obtained by him from the original source. Most of the information is marked as “confidential” and “secret”.

Intel Kottmann software source code discovered the mention of a “backdoor” is the name for deliberately created security holes that allow access to user devices bypassing any security mechanisms. Often, such solutions are created by companies at the request of special services. So, for example, in 2013, thanks to the former employee of the US NSA Edward Snowden, the world became aware of the state program PRISM, in which large American technology corporations built backdoors into their software.

Intel denies messages about hacking. “We are investigating this incident. Apparently, the data was downloaded from the Intel Resource and Design Center, a resource where information is stored for our customers and partners to whom we have provided access. We believe that someone with access has downloaded and transferred this information to third parties, ”the company said in a statement. Kottmann claims that his interlocutor received data from an unsecured server hosted by hosting provider Akamai, and did not use any of the company’s portals.

For the American tech giant, experts have dubbed 2020 the “black stripe”. Company could not cope with the release of 7-nanometer processors on time and survived the departure of Jim Keller, one of its main architects. Moreover, Intel has lost a major client in the face of Apple – the latter announced the creation of its own processors for the Mac lineup and plans to phase out Intel processors in the near future.

And last year was not the best for Intel either. In May 2019 became known about the company’s attempts to bribe information security researchers at the University of Amsterdam in order to hide information about vulnerabilities in Intel products. Later, the manufacturer nevertheless acknowledged the presence of a vulnerability in processors released over the past eight years.

It is not known how the announced series of confidential information leaks will turn out for Intel.

On the one hand, there is an acute issue of user security – in the software source code “merged” into the network, various vulnerabilities and “backdoors” can be found, for which the company simply cannot release fixes in a timely manner.

With another the question of competition: other market players, such as AMD, now have the advantage of being aware of the plans of their main rival. Series detected vulnerabilities in Intel processors in 2018, including the Meltdown vulnerability, greatly shaken the company’s position, then its shares fell by 6%, while competitors Nvidia and AMD showed significant growth.

2020 could be a fateful year for the largest microelectronics manufacturer: delayed release of new processors in July already collapsed shares by 9%. New shocks may also negatively affect Intel’s financial performance.

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