Problems discovered in Intel processor chips

Some PC users may find that their machines are performing more slowly due to problems recently discovered in Intel processor chips.

The vulnerability, announced earlier this month, is called Zombieload and comes after previous bugs Spectre, Meltdown and Foreshadow discovered last year.

According to Intel the latest bug could theoretically allow an attacker to spy on tasks being handled by any Intel Core or Xeon-branded central processing unit (CPU) released since 2011.

Various web computing and cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud use the technology and they have installed software patches to fix the problem.

Zombieland was discovered by universities in Austria and Belgium who warned that it could it could allow hackers to steal sensitive data or provide the means to unscramble encrypted files.

However, they said, it was unclear whether any such attack would leave a trace, or if anyone had actually exploited the flaw to date.

While Intel argues that carrying out an attack would be “a very complex undertaking” it is advising users to download security updates from Microsoft, Apple and Linux-based operating system providers that will address the issue.