Action is being taken in California, Oregon and Indiana
Intel is being taken to court over vulnerabilities in its processors, with plaintiffs in California, Oregon and Indiana all taking legal action against the company.
The Meltdown and Spectre flaws, which are present in the vast majority of modern processors, could allow hackers to break into the devices and steal sensitive data. However, no data breaches have been reported as yet, even though the vulnerabilities exist in the majority of processors dating from 1995. The flaw wasn't reported until June last year, despite Intel knowing about it since before then.
The lawyers representing the Californian claimants think there will be more cases coming to light in the coming months, describing it as "one of the largest security flaws ever facing the American public". They are urging Intel to fix the problem and to offer those affected compensation for any losses that have occurred.
It may be easier for some of the big businesses affected by the vulnerabilities to take action. Legal experts expect cloud service providers to be the leaders in this, with Amazon, Microsoft and Google all having solid reasons to hold Intel to account if it slows their computational capacity.
An alternative to legal action may be for the cloud providers to demand lower prices on future chips. Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group told The Guardian.
Intel explained it was unable to give any information about the cases. "[Intel] can confirm it is aware of the class actions but as these proceedings are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment," the company said in a statement.
“Contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time,” the company previously said.