32 class-action suits filed against Intel over Spectre and Meltdown flaws
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.
Additionally, three further shareholder lawsuits were filed, claiming that Intel's board and corporate officers committed breach of duty in connection to the disclosure of the security flaws and failed to act in relation to alleged insider trading. In November last year, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold all the Intel stock he was allowed to sell. This stock sale has provoked speculation about insider trading, though Intel maintains that Krzanich's actions were unrelated to the security issues.
The company's filing notes that further lawsuits around these issues are likely, and that due to the early stage of these suits, there's no estimate of what losses, if any, may arise as a result.