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Security Era Sprouts in Silicon

CUPERTINO, Calif., Aug. 21, 2018 – 

Experts called for a new generation of secure-by-design computers at the Hot Chips conference here. In small steps in that direction, Microsoft and Google described their separate but similar hardware security architectures.

The Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities disclosed in January woke engineers up to how decades-old techniques such as speculative execution also could be doors to side-channel attacks. Red Hat alone spent tens of thousands of engineering hours patching those flaws in Linux, a fraction of the work also in progress at chip makers such as AMD, Arm, IBM and Intel estimated to cost the industry millions of dollars.

Today's patches manage but don't fix underlying vulnerabilities, some of which may persist for years, experts said. New variants of the attacks emerged as recently as last week and are expected to keep cropping up for the foreseeable future.

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