Skip to Content

Intel told Chinese firms about its chip flaws before telling US officials

January 29, 2018

The world’s biggest chipmaker may have endangered national security when it announced its recent bugs, Meltdown and Spectre.

The news: The Wall Street Journal ($) says that Intel told tech firms about the pervasive chips flaws before it informed the US government. That included the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, and Arm, but also China’s Lenovo and Alibaba.

Why it matters: Once Chinese firms found out about the flaws, it’s likely that the nation’s government also knew. That raises security concerns about what could have been done with the information—though there’s no evidence of wrongdoing.

Unfixed flaws: The bugs are still a big problem. Microsoft has recently disabled its Spectre fixes because Intel’s solutions are still causing computers to become unstable. And the clock is ticking: hackers will be developing ways to exploit the flaws while they remain unpatched.

Deep Dive


Start with data to build a better supply chain

Successful digital transformation starts with the right team, an agile mentality, and a strong data foundation, says global digital solutions manager of procurement and supply chain at bp, Raimundo Martinez.

Chiplets: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Chipmakers are betting that smaller, more specialized chips can extend the life of Moore’s Law.

Quantum computing is taking on its biggest challenge: noise

For a while researchers thought they’d have to make do with noisy, error-prone systems, at least in the near term. That’s starting to change.

Apple Vision Pro: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Micro-OLED technology has been in development for more than a decade, but the Vision Pro will be the highest-profile demonstration of its abilities to date.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.