FILE - In this July 20, 2011 file photo, Intel corporate offices are seen in Santa Clara, Calif. Intel says it’s working to patch a security vulnerability in its products but says the average computer user won’t experience significant slowdowns as the problem is fixed. The chipmaker released a statement Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, after a report by British technology site The Register caused Intel stocks to trade lower.(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

AP Explains: Who's affected by computer chip security flaw

January 04, 2018 - 1:52 pm

Technology companies are scrambling to fix serious security flaws affecting computer processors found in many of the world's personal computers and smartphones.

The bugs can be exploited to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked, potentially exposing stored passwords and other sensitive data.

Researchers discovered the problem last year and disclosed it Wednesday, after word got out through British technology site The Register. Intel and Google say they were planning to disclose the issue next week when fixes will be available.

There's no evidence bad actors have yet exploited the bugs, but companies are working to patch up vulnerabilities to their operating systems and browsers to protect against one of the bugs. But researchers say the other is harder to fix, but it's also harder to exploit.

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