back to article Intel alerted computer makers to chip flaws on Nov 29 – new claim

Intel quietly warned computer manufacturers at the end of November that its chips were insecure due to design flaws, according to an internal Chipzilla document. French tech publication LeMagIT reported this week it had obtained a top-secret Intel memo sent to OEM customers on November 29 under a confidentiality and non- …

Anonymous Coward

Ugh-Oghh

I love the smell of SEC raids early in the morning. They smell like...

22
1

And how is the other way looking

"The date of the disclosure to OEMs is likely to raise eyebrows as it happened on the same day Intel chief exec Brian Krzanich sold stocks and shares worth $25m before tax.

Intel has denied any impropriety, saying Krzanich's decision to sell was part of a standard stock sale plan."

Maybe he has some dated, signed , lawyered up stock sale plan to show, made well in advanced.

But can he also prove that he as Intel CEO had no control over the date at which the disclosure was made? Bearing in mind that Intel knew about it for 5-6 months prior to this initial OEM disclosure.

And it seems convenient that these two dates happen to coincide.

46
0
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

Hi,

Sounds stupid to me. If you know that selling before releasing damaging information, which impacts the stock, is a crime ?., then i wouldn't do it.

Did he then buy them back at the lower price ?

Choosing the same date to sell as per OEM notification certainly will make people suspicious.

If they new 5 to 6 months before the OEM notification, then really, he should never have sold - since either way it looks bad at least.

Regards,

Shadmeister.

9
0
ST
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

> Maybe he has some dated, signed , lawyered up stock sale plan to show, made well in advanced. [sic]

Quite possible he has. See Steve Jobs and his time-traveling stock options from around 2001.

13
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: And how is the other way looking

I'm assuming that any Intel execs who sold shares complied with all relevant notice and close periods for the company that likely restrict the times shares can be sold to a few weeks a year and the notification period for any sales to weeks in advance. It also doesn't correlate other financial activities the execs have committed too months or years in advance around investments, property transactions or tax settlements.

While it never looks good selling shares before bad news is announced, I'm wondering if people are putting two and two together and getting five...

0
21
Devil

Re: And how is the other way looking

One could also look at it as a delay in notifying OEM's until scheduled stock sales took place

35
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: And how is the other way looking

Either way, it smacks of insider trading, which means Intel (as a publicly-traded company) is supposed to fall under SEC scrutiny for suspicious insider transactions regardless of how they're structured.

23
0
LDS
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

The more people knew about it, the higher the risk someone leaked it "accidentally" - better to ensure stocks are sold in time.

Anyway, even if it was a plan made in October, the bugs were known since June. There was plenty of time to organize everything to ensure shares were sold before the news became public - relaying on the fact Google & C. would have stayed silent until fixes were available because of the risks of their very own systems, well beyond "responsible disclosure" rules.

Just the Vulture this time really bit the hands that feed IT... and whatever disclosure plan they had went out of the windows...

14
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: And how is the other way looking

Sure it will raise eyebrows but it won't raise judges wigs. The super rich are rich for a reason.

10
3
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

"While it never looks good selling shares before bad news is announced, I'm wondering if people are putting two and two together and getting five..."

As already stated, Intel knew of the flaws months before the share sale so it all comes down to whether there is documentation demonstrating the share sale, both the date and the numbers, were decided on before it became obvious that this was going to be a major event with a detrimental effect on the share price. The fact he sold the maximum amount just adds to the suspicion.

18
0
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

True, suspicion has to be raised at this - and the all too convenient looking timing.

There is no way that such a critical issue as this chip design/implementation flaw cannot have been escalated quickly to the top level and not been known about and discussed and most likely in an emergency meeting rather than waiting for a scheduled one. Well, there is a way but that would involve gross incopetence and arse-covering attempts but with google making it clear that it would announce the issue the clock would have been ticking. On this situation you can see the value of this release plan, would Intel really have announced if otherwise or just tried to quietly fix the issue in the next generation or so of chips?

5
0
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

"I'm wondering if people are putting two and two together and getting five"

We're using Intel processors to work out the sum. Are you saying there's something wrong with them?

23
0
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

Well, let's see ... processors from the competition are catching up, on some benchmarks are better and worse on others, but clearly getting there. Then comes the news about Meltdown bug (lets put Spectre aside - all are vulnerable to this) which only affects Intel processors, and the mitigation to this one comes at a cost at least 5% of the performance, sometimes more than 20%. Surely that is going to impact the benchmarks, and hence sales figures. The problem is systematic, and it will take Intel a long time to fix it in hardware - the time which the competition can use to improve their designs, not impacted by Meltdown bug

Judging by the moves of INTC and AMD share price right after El Reg article, shareholders think similar.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: And how is the other way looking

It may be that he didn't sell his shares because of the bugs.

But it's also possible that Intel delayed disclosure of the bugs until after the pre-planned sale of stock.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Ironically...

...Intel stock is up, because everyone now suddenly needs to buy more processing power...

11
0

Oh the stench of insider dealing is getting worse !

6
0
FAIL

Entered in the record

"Intel has denied any impropriety, saying Krzanich's decision to sell was part of a standard stock sale plan that had been organized in October."

"the chip maker was warned in June 2017 about the blunders"

Okay, carry the one, add in the reciprocal of the co-efficient, apply a little machine learning and... Yup.

June is still earlier than October.

16
0
Bronze badge

Re: Entered in the record

June is still earlier than October

Not in Intel's world, evidently.

9
0
Silver badge

Re: Entered in the record - June is still earlier than October.

Depends - was the calculation done on an early 486?

13
0
Silver badge

Re: Entered in the record

Unless they used Pentiun to do the math.

-------

That's really not necessary, Dave. No HAL 9236 computer has every been known to make a mistake.

You're a HAL 9000.

Precisely. I'm very proud of my Pentium, Dave. It's an extremely accurate chip. Did you know that floating-point errors will occur in only one of nine billion possible divides?

I've heard that estimate, HAL. It was calculated by Intel -- on a Pentium.

And a very reliable Pentium it was, Dave. Besides, the average spreadsheet user will encounter these errors only once every 27,000 years.

Probably on April 15th.

You're making fun of me, Dave. It won't be April 15th for another 14.35 months.

hinkles.us/chuckbo/Humor/HALDAVE.HTM

13
0
Silver badge

Re: Entered in the record - June is still earlier than October.

Dave, you don't really want to complete the mission without me, do you? Remember what it was like when all you had was a 485.98?

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Pentiun

Tee-hee. Looks like I made my very own rounding error there.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Entered in the record

June is still earlier than October

Not if you calculate time intervals on a Pentium. Using Floating Point.

3
0
Silver badge

"Total coincidence: That's the same day Chipzilla's CEO sold off his shares"

That's right. Total coincidence. Anything else would be quite improbable.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

I really hope Carl Icahn bought the shares he sold as I would look forward to the fireworks.

3
0

Dam!

I gotta start my own lie'n fuck'n corporation.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

I hate to say this but...

I predict the worst thing to happen to this guy will be a public berating at most.

Just theater for the masses and then everyone will go home after the show.

Prisons are for paupers.

6
0
Bronze badge

Coincidences, chances and fortuitous elements

How dare you to pretend that a CEO could be dishonest when they are a moral compass in our societies?

6
0
Silver badge

Turns out...

It was quite a bad time to sell.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Intel released a Spectre-free CPU in 2001, but it was the one hardly anyone bought

A few news reports have mentioned Itanium is immune to Spectre. I don't have an Itanium to test it. But if this is true:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20150804-00/?p=91181

and the approach was correctly implemented, then indeed, I believe this would make the Itanium immune to Meltdown and Spectre.

It would be good to know why this Spectre-proofing was not also brought to Intel's higher-performing, lower cost, better-selling x86 and x86-64 line of CPUs.

I can imagine various possible explanations, none of which makes Intel look good.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Intel released a Spectre-free CPU in 2001, but it was the one hardly anyone bought

Itanium is immune for one simple reason; it doesn't have speculative execution. It was a strictly in-order processor built on the assumption the compiler could do all the optimization. I suggest you inspect the benchmarks for Itanium units shortly after they came out and compare them to other processors of that time. Last I recalled, the results were quite underwhelming because compilers simply can't know about about the programs they handle to optimize for all conditions (runtime conditions can lead to completely different optimization needs).

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Intel released a Spectre-free CPU in 2001, but it was the one hardly anyone bought

I'd say the Itanium does have speculative loads, in the sense that software can instruct the CPU to perform a speculative load - according to that blog.

If the speculative load would access memory it shouldn't, the Itanium CPU doesn't read the memory and instead flags the result NaT ("Not a Thing").

I wouldn't exactly call Itanium's execution in-order, though I guess it's a question of definition, and apologies if mine is non-standard here.

I think the Itanium hardware is allowed to run instruction bundles in parallel, up to the next "stop" (;;). So the order of execution is, to an extent, unpredictable - up to the CPU - with the intention it can vary according to the capabilities of the CPU model.

I suppose my original point, above, is that Itanium has a protective mechanism involving NaT, and this seems sensible. Probably it does place a larger burden on the compiler (as do various other aspects of the Itanium architecture).

1
0
Bronze badge

A bold - and libellous - claim. I'm sure you'll be looking forward to defending yourself in court.

0
5

Ye forgot the joke alert icon, I think? It's just about mandatory, since some of these folks seem to be serious about such.

0
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018