January 5, 2018 / 7:26 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Intel says performance impact of security updates not significant

(Adds details, background on security flaws)

Jan 5 (Reuters) - Intel Corp said fixes for security issues in its microchips would not slow down computers, rebuffing concerns that the flaws found in microprocessors would significantly reduce performance.

The performance impact of the recent security updates should not be significant and will be mitigated over time, Intel said late on Thursday, adding that Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc , Google and Microsoft Corp reported little to no performance impact from the security updates. intel.ly/2CHQ89E

Intel shares fell nearly 2 percent on Thursday as investors were worried about the potential financial liability and reputational damage from the recently disclosed security issues.

The largest chipmaker confirmed earlier this week that the security issues reported by researchers in the company's widely used microprocessors could allow hackers to steal sensitive information from computers, phones and other devices.

Security researchers had disclosed two security flaws exposing vulnerability of nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings.

The first, called Meltdown, affects Intel chips and lets hackers bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer's memory, potentially letting hackers read a computer's memory and steal passwords. The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information.

Intel had said the issues were not caused by a design flaw and asked users to download a patch and update their operating system.

Intel may be on the hook for costs stemming from lawsuits claiming that the patches would slow computers and effectively force consumers to buy new hardware, and big customers will likely seek compensation from Intel for any software or hardware fixes they make, security experts said. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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