Category: policy

Feb 16 2018

32 class-action suits filed against Intel over Spectre and Meltdown flaws

Enlarge / This may become the new default imagery for Spectre and Meltdown around Intel. (credit: Brian Turner / Flickr)

In its annual SEC filing, Intel has revealed that it's facing 32 lawsuits over the Spectre and Meltdown attacks on its processors. While the Spectre problem is a near-universal issue faced by modern processors, the Meltdown attack is specific to processors from Intel and Apple, along with certain ARM designs that are coming to market shortly.

Per Intel's filing, 30 of the cases are customer class-action suits from users claiming to be harmed by the flaws. While Meltdown has effective workarounds, they come with some performance cost. Workarounds for Spectre are more difficult and similarly can harm system performance.

The other two cases are securities class actions that claim that Intel made misleading public statements during the six-month period after the company was notified of the problems but before the attacks were made public.

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Dec 14 2017

After backlash, animal shelter fires security robot, “effective immediately”

Enlarge / A five-foot-tall (1.5 meter) outdoor K5 security robot patrols the grounds of the Washington Harbour retail-residential center in the Georgetown district of Washington, DC, July 26, 2017. (credit: ROB LEVER/AFP/Getty Images))

As of Thursday morning local time, a San Francisco animal adoption agency will immediately halt its recent use of a controversial security robot.

The move comes after the San Francisco SPCA had been scrutinized for its deployment of a Knightscope K9 to mitigate vandalism and the presence of homeless people at its Mission District office. Knightscope, a Silicon Valley startup, declares on its website that its robots are the "security team of the future."

That robot made headlines when Business Insider reported Tuesday that "Robots are being used to deter homeless people from setting up camp in San Francisco."

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Sep 13 2017

Kaspersky software banned from US government agencies

Enlarge / Kaspersky Lab CEO and Chairman Eugene Kaspersky speaks at a conference in Russia on July 10, 2017. (credit: Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland security ordered government agencies to stop using any software products made by Kaspersky Lab. The department cited concern about possible ties between Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence.

Agencies in the executive branch are expected to begin the process of discontinuing Kaspersky products within 90 days.

According to a DHS statement posted online by Reuters reporter Dan Volz:

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Aug 15 2017

Building America’s Trust Act would amp up privacy concerns at the border

Enlarge / A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer checks identifications as people cross into the United States from Mexico on September 23, 2016 in San Ysidro, California. (credit: John Moore / Getty Images News)

If a new Senate Republican border security bill is passed as currently drafted, it would dramatically increase the amount of surveillance technologies used against immigrants and, in some cases, American citizens traveling to and from the United States.

The bill, known as the "Building America's Trust Act," is authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). It aims for a "long-term border security and interior enforcement strategy," according to its summary. However, the senators have yet to formally introduce the text of the bill.

So Ars is going to do it for them: we received an advance copy of the bill’s text from an anonymous source, and we are publishing it here before it has been formally introduced in the Senate. Ars repeatedly contacted the offices of all six senators who are listed as co-sponsors for comment—none made anyone available.

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