Intel Class Action Lawsuits Filed Just Days After First Reporting of Intel Processor Security Vulnerability

Gizmodo reported (“Intel Hit With Three Class Action Lawsuits Related to Security Vulnerability”) that only two days after “The Register first reported that all Intel x86-64x processors were subject to a severe security vulnerability, and already Intel has been hit with at least three separate class action lawsuits related to the vulnerability.”

According to Gizmodo:

All three complaints cite the security vulnerability as well as Intel’s failure to disclose it in a timely fashion. They also cite the supposed slowdown of purchased processors. However that is still up for debate. In a press release today, Intel claimed it has “issued updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years.” Moreover, it says the performance penalty is not as significant as The Register initially claimed.

Intel Class Action Lawsuit – Class Action Complaint Filed for Damages & Equitable Relief

One Intel class action lawsuit, filed on January 3, 2018 in United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, “on behalf of all individuals who purchased a defective Intel core processor,” stated that “[f]or at least 10 years, [Intel] has marketed, distributed, and warranted . . . defective Intel CPUs in California and throughout the United States.” [Emphasis added]

Intel Class Action Lawsuit – Intel Processor Design Defect’s Broad Scope

The Intel processor security defect, according to the class action lawsuit complaint, is in Intel’s x86-64x chip processor, the “most widely-used chips in virtually all desktop and laptop computers,” as well as “in most of the large, cloud based servers such as those from Google, Microsoft and Amazon.”

The Intel class action lawsuit complaint further states:

Defendant Intel’s x86-64x CPUs suffer from a security defect, which causes the CPUs to be exposed to troubling security vulnerabilities by allowing potential access to extremely secure kernel data (the “Defect”). The only way to “patch” this vulnerability requires extensive changes to the root levels of the Operating System which will dramatically reduce performance of the CPU. The Defect renders the Intel x86-64x CPUs unfit for their intended use and purpose. The Defect exists in all Intel x86-64x CPUs manufactured since at least 2008. The x86-64x CPU is, and was, utilized in the majority of all desktop, laptop computers, and servers in the United States[.] [Emphasis added]

To date, [Intel Corporation] has been unable or unwilling to repair the Defect or offer Plaintiffs and class members a non-defective Intel CPU or reimbursement for the cost of such CPU and the consequential damages arising from the purchase and use of such CPUs. Indeed, there does not appear to be a true “fix” for the Defect. The security “patch,” while expected to cure the security vulnerabilities, will dramatically degrade the CPU’s performance. Therefore, the only “fix” would be to exchange the defective x86-64x processor with a device containing a processor not subject to this security vulnerability. In essence, Intel x86-64x CPU owners are left with the unappealing choice of either purchasing a new processor or computer containing a CPU that does not contain the Defect, or continuing to use a computer with massive security vulnerabilities or one with significant performance degradation. [Emphasis added]

Intel Class Action Lawsuit – Defective CPUs Not Merchantable & Performance Degradation

The complaint also stated that Intel’s CPUs that were “. . . manufactured and sold to Plaintiffs and Class members were not merchantable and were not fit for the ordinary and particular purposes for which such goods are used in that the [Intel] CPUs suffer from a critical security defect, requiring an OS-level software patch that will degrade the performance of the CPU.”  

Intel Chip Flaw Vulnerabilities – Meltdown & Spectre Security Vulnerabilities

Purchasers and consumers can find out more information about the two security vulnerabilities pertaining to Intel’s chip design flaw by reviewing PCMag’s “Chip Design Flaw Not Limited to Intel, Researchers Say,” and the Meltdown and Spectre-related website referenced in the article.

Intel Class Action Chip Processor Security Flaw

Image: Pixabay, Gerd Altmann (geralt), CC0 1.0 Universal

Intel Chip Processor (“CPU”) Purchasers

Purchasers of vulnerable Intel chip processors (“CPUs”), or computers which contained affected Intel chip processors, who have questions about the Intel CPU defect, the class action lawsuits or their potential legal rights or claims can speak privately with an attorney by completing the form above on the right or by e-mailing [email protected].

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.