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Downfall fallout: Intel knew AVX chips were insecure and did nothing, lawsuit claims

November 9, 2023

Intel has been sued by a handful of PC buyers who claim the x86 goliath failed to act when informed five years ago about faulty chip instructions that allowed the recent Downfall vulnerability, and during that period sold billions of insecure chips.

The lawsuit [PDF], filed on behalf of five plaintiffs in a US federal court in San Jose, California, claims Intel knew about the susceptibility of its AVX instruction set to side-channel attacks since 2018, but didn’t fix the defect until the disclosure of the Downfall hole this year, leaving affected computer buyers with no other option than to apply a patch that slows performance by as much as 50 percent.

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