Intel warn Zombieland bug may cause data centres to slow down

Intel has said that some computer owners may experience slower performance speeds after the tech giant disclosed glitches in its new processor chips.

The US firm confirmed that data centres are most likely to be hit by the issue once fixes have been implemented. Owners of standard PCs can expect minimal disruption, the firm added.

Labelled the ‘Zombieland’ vulnerability, the predicament comes after ‘Spectre’, ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Foreshadow’ bugs broke out in 2018. It is feared that this most recent problem could enable cyber criminals to look in on operations being processed by any piece of equipment with an Intel Core or Xeon-branded CPU issued after 2011.

Some big players in data processing rely on Intel technology in their data centres, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Each is understood to have taken action to stop any adverse impacts from affecting clients, with the hope being that clients do not even realise that slow-downs are playing out.

Some experts feel that the major corporations may have to put extra cash into bolstering computer servers, should speeds be affected too much by the software patches created by Intel.

The Zombieland issue was first uncovered by scientists at Austria’s Graz University of Technology and KU Leuven university in Belgium. The researchers explained that the hitch could enable hackers to access confidential information, or allow criminals to work out how to translate coded files.

The researchers said:

“[This could affect] user-level secrets, such as browser history, website content, user keys, and passwords, or system-level secrets, such as disk encryption keys.”

The researchers also said that it might not be possible to know whether an attack had even taken place.

Maintaining that an attack would be very difficult to carry out, Intel has advised users to download security patches from Microsoft, Apple and Linux operating system providers, which should rectify the problem.


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