Timeline: Intel's unprecedented chip vulnerability crisis

Chipmakers and technology giants such as Apple are scrambling to respond to a scary pair of security vulnerabilities.

January 10
Cloud providers could turn to Intel’s competitors, such as ARM and AMD, according to Reuters.

The Verge senior editor Tom Warren demands greater transparency from Intel, saying, "It’s time for Intel to stop hiding behind cleverly worded statements.

January 9
Patches rolled out to close Meltdown and Spectre security loops have caused PC and server performance slowdowns, according to Microsoft, confirming developers’ fears.

Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and John Kennedy (R-LA) ask the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department to investigate Intel CEO Brian Krzanich for insider trading.

January 8
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is scheduled to speak at CES 2018 in a keynote address that will be closely scrutinized by the tech world.

Recode homes in on the hundreds of thousands of shares Krzanich unloaded after Intel discovered a flaw in its processors.

While Intel argues Krzanich’s sale took place because of a pre-arranged stock plan with an automated schedule, the SEC will likely look into the transaction because of its "larger-than-usual" size, Bloomberg reports.

CNET highlights the uphill battle Krzanich faces. Originally, he was supposed to talk about 5G and how it would power emerging technologies, such as driverless cars and the Internet of Things, a topic that may be buried under the controversy.

Intel’s stock closes at $44.74. Seeking Alpha still says its stock represents a "strong long-term investment" despite recent headwinds.

January 5
Intel’s stock drops more than 5% in the two-day period through Thursday, eliminating more than $11 billion in shareholder value, according to CNBC. Meanwhile, AMD’s shares are up 10.4% during the same period.

Intel could be forced to implement a massive recall, according to SeekingAlpha.

Cryptocurrency companies outline steps users should take to keep their wallets and coins safe.

Intel insists the impact software updates will have on device performance won’t be significant, according to Reuters.

January 4
Apple confirms its iPhones, iPads, and Macs are affected by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. "All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time," the tech company tells the media.

Much of the technology media focuses on what Meltdown and Spectre mean, breaking down the security bugs into layman’s terms.

Three class-action lawsuits have been filed against Intel, alleging "deceptive practices, breach of implied warranty, negligence, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, among other things."

"Every aggrieved consumer misled by Intel’s intentional failure to disclose the material defect in its microchips as alleged in this complaint suffered an actual ascertainable loss of the purchase price they paid for their microchip."

The suit seeks national class-action status.

January 3
Researchers from Google and academic groups launch a website dedicated to explaining their findings on the two vulnerabilities that affect nearly every processor in the world. The site explains that the first vulnerability is called "Meltdown" and it affects Intel only, while the second, known as "Spectre," affects Intel and Advanced Micro Devices and ARM Holdings Cores. The site also has a hub for all of the affected companies’ newsrooms.

Microsoft rushes out a series of fixes, including security updates and patches for its cloud services, which were originally planned for a January 9 release. It tells Bloomberg it has no information to indicate customers have been affected.

Amazon says it has secured almost all of its affected servers. Google details its efforts to safeguard its systems and user data.

Intel acknowledges the existence of the vulnerability, but refutes reports implying it is the only chipmaker affected.

ARM PR director Phil Hughes tells Wired the company is working with Intel and AMD to "address a side-channel analysis method which exploits speculative execution techniques used in certain high-end processors, including some of our Cortex-A processors."

AMD contradicts Intel, saying its chips will not be affected due to structural differences.

Several news outlets report that Krzanich sold off $24 million in stock late last year, after the company learned of the vulnerability but before it was made public. An Intel spokesperson says Krzanich’s sale was unrelated to the issue.

January 2
Intel chips produced over the last 10 years have a "fundamental design flaw," according to tech blog The Register. The bug leaves almost every processor in computers and phones worldwide vulnerable to hacking, and a proposed fix would cause those devices to run more slowly.

January 1
Microsoft, Amazon, and Google could be affected by a cybersecurity risk, according to tech blog Python Sweetness, which found an "embargoed security bug" will affect virtually all modern processors.

"Invest in popcorn, 2018 is going to be fun," Python concludes.

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