Intel slapped with 32 class action lawsuits related to Meltdown and Spectre flaws

Intel is facing legal backlash over the Meltdown and Spectre flaws that were disclosed in early January. In a new SEC filing (via The Verge), Intel says that it is currently facing 32 class action lawsuits stemming from the flaws. According to the filing, the suits claim users were "harmed by Intel's actions and/or omissions" related to the flaws and are seeking monetary damage.

From Intel:

As of February 15, 2018, 30 customer class action lawsuits and two securities class action lawsuits have been filed. The customer class action plaintiffs, who purport to represent various classes of end users of our products, generally claim to have been harmed by Intel's actions and/or omissions in connection with the security vulnerabilities and assert a variety of common law and statutory claims seeking monetary damages and equitable relief.

The securities class action suits allege that the disclosure of the vulnerabilities revealed that Intel made false or misleading statements about its products or internal controls, violating securities laws. the plaintiffs in these two suits "purport to represent classes of acquirers of Intel stock between July 27, 2017 and January 4, 2018," Intel says.

Additionally, three individual shareholders have filed actions against certain members of Intel's board. "The complaints allege that the defendants breached their duties to Intel in connection with the disclosure of the security vulnerabilities and the failure to take action in relation to alleged insider trading," Intel says. The company also acknowledges that it may face further lawsuits over the matter going forward.

In the wake of Spectre and Meltdown's disclosure, a number of companies, Microsoft and other software vendors were quick to releases patches of their own, but Intel has had issues with the microcode fixes needed to guard against the Spectre flaw. Its initial fix was found to cause unwanted reboots on some PCs, and Microsoft later had to release a patch to deactivate the buggy fix.

Intel has since released a Spectre fix for Skylake-based PCs to its hardware partners, but fixes for other processor platforms are still in the works. If you're curious about whether your PC is protected yet, you can use a tool called InSpectre to see if you're vulnerable. If you're using a laptop or desktop from vendors like Dell, HP, Lenovo, or others, various PC manufacturers also have running lists of which systems have patches available.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

14 Comments
  • I bet NOT ONE person has had a pc compromised by these flaws
  • It's not always about being compromised. Sometimes it's just about how you handle the situation. Intel to the road of keeping it hush hush and under covers until they could go "oh don't worry about that, it's fixed" then it back fired. Others do this all the time as well. It's a bad bet at times depending on the contracts you in. Some contracts with other companies you legally have to disclose this as soon as you know or else you are considered putting them at risk.  Just becaue a hacker hasn't compromised a PC doesn't mean Intel hasn't done anything wrong, immoral or illegal in this scandle. Also doesn't mean that they have done any of the above either. 
  • So if a company has a security vulnerability they should inform everyone, which would include those who would exploit it before they have a fix? Interesting idea, what could possibly go wrong there.
  • Oh Boo Hoo.  Get over yourselves.    "Oh I was harmed.   Intel should have known".    BS. No one got hurt, no one died, basically nothing happened.  MAYBE your computer MIGHT run a little bit slower in certain situations.  This is nothing but lawyers looking for a payday.
  • Unless your computer is running skylake or newer it WILL run slower.
  • Maybe, depending on what you are doing.   Personally, I don't care either way. A 6% slowdown - and remember, we are talking about milliseconds here - is completely meaningless outside of benchmarks.   Besides, you always have the option of not installing these patches.  Unless, of course, you are running Windows 10.  In that case, BWAHAHAHAHAHA!  Yet another reason why I stayed with 8.1.  
  • Well done on not being protected in the event these are both exploited then!!!!
  • My point was - and is - that these things are WAY overblown.   Just like the "KRACK" wi-fi exploit from a few months ago.  At the time, it was the end of wi-fi as we knew it.  Every router needed to be replaced RIGHT NOW. Uh huh.  Now that everything is patched, you never hear about it again.   Just like these CPU "flaws".  Neither will ever be exploited, because they are so random.  Just because you MIGHT get access to memory that you should not have access to, does not mean there will be anything of interest there.  There are much easier ways to do this stuff. Besides, they are already patched in every OS.  So you MIGHT get access to memory that MIGHT have something in it.  Again, there are easier ways to get passwords and such.   One again, this was Much Ado About Nothing.  But its great for generating clicks and comments here, which helps the advertising revenue. Which is all that matters.  
  • Not seen any slowdown on my Sandy Bridge based desktop so no, it doesn't mean that you computer WILL run slower rather that it MAY run slower.
  • Of course you have not.  Something that took 1,000 milliseconds (1 second) - that now takes 1,200 milliseconds (1.2 seconds) - is beyond perception.  But that is a "20% slowdown!!!"  Makes for great headlines.  As I said, this was Much Ado About Nothing.  But it was great Click Bait.  
  • Sure, that's one way to take their money... 🤔
  • The consumer suits will have a tough go trying to demonstrate/quantify "harm" for standing The investor suits should be more successful as securities disclosure rules are much less ambiguous.
  • What about AMD, their processor also suffer from the same flaw so why are they not included in this?
  • I am in full support of our new ARM overlords.