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Intel Warned Chinese Businesses of Chip Flaw Before US Govt

It is a story that keeps on getting worse and worse for Intel with new reports surfacing that the computer chip company notified a small cohort of businesses – including Chinese-based companies such as Lenovo and Alibaba – about its chip flaws before the US government.

The Wall Street Journal says this raises a number of concerns as it means information about the security flaws in the chips might have been given to the Chinese government before Intel made a public notice.

The publication goes on to say, ‘There is no evidence any information was misused’.

Both Lenovo and Alibaba spoke to the WSJ with a spokesperson for Lenovo saying “the work we’d done ahead of that date with industry processor and operating system partners”. Alibaba declined to comment on whether it was notified beforehand.

Other companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft were also notified beforehand which is why they were so prompt to release statements as soon as the matter was leaked by The Register.

According to the WSJ, the flaws were identified last June by a personnel of Google’s Project Zero security team. Intel was planning to release the news on January 9 but The Register published its post six days earlier.

Jake Williams, president of the security company Rendition Infosec and former NSA employee told the WSJ information would be “of great interest to any intelligence-gathering agency”. He says previously, Chinese state-linked hackers have “exploited software vulnerablities” using the information to gain leverage on targets.

Intel is currently facing three class action lawsuits in three separate US states.

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