back to article Intel top brass smacked with sueball for keeping schtum about chip flaws

An Intel stockholder filed a class-action lawsuit yesterday accusing the chipmaker of artificially inflating its stock prices by omitting to tell anyone about the Spectre and Meltdown flaws in its products. The complaint, brought by Intel shareholder Elvis Alvira, pits investors who acquired Chipzilla's shares between July 27 …

  1. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Meanwhile, and in future...

    ...on both sides of the Atlantic, consumers who have to suffer Intel's shitty products will get no redress whatsoever.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, and in future...

      Oh, like that ever happens with ANY corporation that screwed it customers!

      I mean come on man! Meaningful customer compensation for theft by unfit product/service? That's just crazy commie talk!

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Ouch

    This one has the potential to really hurt. Essentially the suit is claiming a version of securities fraud. Depending on the details this could lead to a Club Feral vacation with a large 'donation' to the ferals when the ferals decide to act.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Ouch

      I think the securities fraud will also include the CEO's stock sell-off just before the shitstorm hit the news media. At least I would hope so.

      1. theblackhand

        Re: Ouch

        The CEO's stock sell off only looks bad if you equate Meltdown to the stock sales.

        He was probably selling off stock because of the general state of Intel's product lifecycle (i.e. desperately in need of a volume 10nm product that has been pushed out around 18-24 months already) and is rumoured to still have serious issues. Add in competition from AMD and struggling to keep up with Moores law and Meltdown is just the latest problem in 2017.

        1. Natalie Gritpants

          Re: Ouch

          About time to ditch Moore's law. It was invented by Intel and used as a stick to beat the competition into submission but it is trumped by Scotty's law "Ya cannae break the laws of physics Jim".

          It's not a law, rather an observation of past performance. I could come up with a law that states the Dow-Jones must rise by 10% every 3 years but it wouldn't make it happen forever, nor should it be a goal.

  3. Andy Mac

    The legal question here is an interesting one. Should companies have to disclose unpatched security vulnerabilities that might affect share price or keep them secret so as to cause a, ha-ha, meltdown?

    General sanity suggests the latter, but as we all know, courts are not always sane...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Bullshit

      You can always emit a "share price warning" saying that due to unforseen circumstances, there may be trouble later in the year oh and btw the latest CPU has been delayed.

      Nobody is forced to go full disclosure at once.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    Some decisions are just so hard

    Save some small change for a handful of (very rich) investors, or protect millions of people from being worked over while a fix is being found.

    For just this once, I think Intel was right.

    However, they were total arseholes when the facts came out and they tried to pretend everyone was in the same boat.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Some decisions are just so hard

      Bullshit.

      Unless it is shown that their latest CPU released AFTER they got told about the fault but BEFORE this was public knowledge can be easily fixed at no cost and that a relase instead of a delay was not of consequence to the consumer, there will be balls and ovaries hanging off perches.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some decisions are just so hard

      "For just this once, I think Intel was right." Wrong

      Intel were not right nor should that have had a right to do it.

      I don't like lawyers but sadly they are the only tool availible to make intel and their investors understand how badly they have fked up.

      The rest of us won't see a penny but perhaps once intel's carcass has had time to cool then some scavengers can offer the best of intel's work without the vulnerabilities the world have had to put up with for decades. This because frankly it must be clear by now to everyone that intel cannot be trusted

  5. Dig

    What Inflation

    Have you seen the share price graph for the last 5 years. The price movement from this little problem just seems to ave caused the normal noise in the share price. In fact its higher than it was 3 months ago and 1 year ago. It also appears that the market may also be starting to shrug off any recent drops. The most likely causes for the shares to drop will be in shareholders having class action lawsuits against the company.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=intel+share+price&rlz=1C1CHFX_enGB521GB521&oq=intel+share+price&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l2j69i65l2j69i60.2277j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What Inflation

      "The most likely causes for the shares to drop will be in shareholders having class action lawsuits against the company"

      Given that the shareholders are the company what we have here is shareholders suing themselves - at least in part. What they're trying to do is take money from their fellow shareholders. It's always seemed to me an extremely dubious proposition. In this particular case things would have been a lot worse if the fault had been disclosed before mitigations were ready for release and there had been several weeks of exploitation in the wild. It's likely that not disclosing earlier has protected the share price.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How practical is it for the flaw to be actually exploited in the scary way it's been portrayed?

    Eg Javascript in a browser stealing user credentials.

    Where's the proof of concept?

    Does the kernel even store user credentials in memory after the user's logged on?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't confuse:

      MELTDOWN: Ability to read kernel memory (or any other memory mapped into the virtual address space of the process) - Easy to do. Fixable at the cost of slowing down the machine. If you can read the kernel memory, you will probably find interesting stuff in there if you know where to look.

      SPECTRE: Ability to read memory within the same process (that's the JavaScript thing, a POC can be found on YouTube) - Harder to exploit, depends on exactly what the CPU's pipeline is wired to do plus one needs a situation to exploit. Getting LastPass credentials from the browser process? Maybe.

      More problems may surface as people are now looking closer at the whole side-channel-via-cache mess.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Good explanation here https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/raspberry-pi-spectre-meltdown/

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Share price down?

    They can just announce a new CPU with embedded blockchain.

    Problem solved.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man Takes Intel To Small Claims Court

    It only costs £40 in the UK to take Intel to Small Claims Court. If they settle out of court (it'd be embarassing and costly for Intel to defend), I'd buy a new AMD.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Man Takes Intel To Small Claims Court

      > It only costs £40 in the UK to take Intel to Small Claims Court.

      Seems to be only £25 now, if you fill out the form online.

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