Intel faces 32 lawsuits over Spectre and Meltdown

The world and its dog are now familiar with the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that affect multiple types of processors but foremost those from Intel. You'd think that some lawsuits would be flying over the issue, and you'd be right. The company revealed in a recent SEC filing that it was facing a total of 32 class-action lawsuits.

The 32 total lawsuits comprise 30 class-action lawsuits and two securities class-action lawsuits. The class-action complainants generally consider being misled by Intel's disclosures about its knowledge of the vulnerabilities, plus the fact that the fixes for them come with a performance drop. According to Intel, "the securities class-action plaintiffs […] purport to represent classes of acquirers of Intel stock between July 27, 2017 and January 4, 2018" and allege that "Intel and certain officers violated securities laws by making statements about Intel's products and internal controls that were revealed to be false or misleading by the disclosure of the security vulnerabilities."

For its part, Intel says it disputes all the claims and "intend[s] to defend the lawsuits vigorously." However, the company makes no prediction of the lawsuits' financial impact since it has pending questions about the class-action suits being certified, or if they have any merit. Additionally, there are three shareholders claiming that some of Intel's board members and officers engaged in insider trading, and that Intel took no action. The issue could be related to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich reportedly selling $39 million worth of stock options just before the vulnerabilities came to light.

This development is hardly surprising given the magnitude and impact of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. If you want to dig deeper into the document, look for the section that reads "Litigation related to security vulnerabilities."

Comments closed
    • oldog
    • 2 years ago

    In other recent news: “Starbucks does not underfill its lattes, California judge rules in class action suit.”

    [url<]http://www.newsweek.com/starbucks-not-under-filling-lattes-california-judge-rules-class-action-suit-773419[/url<]

    • ch┬Áck
    • 2 years ago

    are TR ad revenues paid per click or per view?

    • anotherengineer
    • 2 years ago

    Funny though how he sold off 39 million right before the news, or maybe it’s just coincidence and he was doing some remodeling around the home at the time and needed some more coin.

      • NovusBogus
      • 2 years ago

      Depends on the context; was the sale arranged recently or was it scheduled months/years prior, as C level transactions often are?

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 2 years ago

        Here is the information you seek:

        [url<]https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/50863/000112760217033679/xslF345X03/form4.xml[/url<] October 30th, 2017 the sale was scheduled. That's several months after the information was revealed to Intel by researchers. The sale was made using insider information and I would like to see what the SEC chooses to do.

    • NovusBogus
    • 2 years ago

    At least these lawyers must be knowledgeable about the industry, because they picked a nice round number of lawsuits to file.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      Will be confirmed true if the next round of lawsuits bring the total up to 64.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    People just love lawsuits.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 2 years ago

      People also don’t like being lied to from corporate officers.

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Maybe but people just love having every little (or big) reasons to sue. Especially in the USA, I’ve heard.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 2 years ago

          Let’s focus on this case and refrain from applying personal biases. If Intel knew of the potential issues and didn’t inform shareholders, that is a problem. Selling off shares with knowledge not known by outsiders, is another problem.

            • ronch
            • 2 years ago

            It’s not bias. People quickly sue McDonald’s if they get burned by hot coffee. There’s more urge to sue than use common sense these days.

            • utmode
            • 2 years ago

            stop playing with your happy meal toy and look for facts. McDonald was sued for serving 195 deg hot coffee. Before that case 700 complained burned themselves from Macs hot coffee. So I think people in USA are too forgiving.
            Link: [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9DXSCpcz9E[/url<]

            • ronch
            • 2 years ago

            No happy meal toy here, bud. Admit it, folks sue for the funniest of reasons. And, although sometimes it’s admittedly not so funny, folks are just too eager to pull the trigger.

            • BurntMyBacon
            • 2 years ago

            [quote=”utmode”<]McDonald was sued for serving 195 deg hot coffee.[/quote<] Not really interested in debating the merits of a past lawsuit here, but you do realize that 195F - 205F is widely considered the ideal coffee brewing range. So if the coffee was in fact fresh brewed and not just sitting on a warming pad, then I'd expect the temperature to be at or near 195F. Here's the first 3 results of a quick googlefu for reference: [url<]https://blackbearcoffee.com/resources/87[/url<] [url<]https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/brew-guides/water-temperature-coffee[/url<] [url<]https://www.thekitchn.com/do-you-need-to-worry-about-water-temperature-when-brewing-coffee-smart-coffee-regular-joes-216229[/url<] One article mentions that successful brewing can be done at lower temperatures, but requires a level of control over the other variables that a U.S. McDonalds employee doesn't likely have. Point being, the plaintiff needed more factors than just the temperature of the coffee to build a reasonable case. I'll leave it to others to debate the merits and demerits of the case in its entirety.

            • ludi
            • 2 years ago

            Wait until he discovers that the ideal brewing temperature for hot tea is 212F.

            Of course, the ideal serving temperature range for coffee or tea is usually 160-185F, but even this temperature range can cause severe burns, especially if it spills into clothing (as was the case with the famous lawsuit, the woman — as a passenger in the car, natch! — was holding the coffee cup between her legs and the top popped off).

            • Froz
            • 2 years ago

            So this is why tea in McDonalds is served in such low temperature it barely brews. It was always irritating me and I couldn’t understand why they just don’t put boiling water in there, especially as the tea bag is served separately (at least that’s how it works here).

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 2 years ago

            Have you ever read the entire case you are referencing and performed a legal analysis?

            I have.

            Please refrain from inserting your personal biases into this case.

            • ronch
            • 2 years ago

            Good for you then, smart boy.

            • Questors
            • 2 years ago

            The jury awarded the plaintiffs based on the letter of the law.

            McDonalds did have warning their coffee was hot. However, the warnings, the way the were written, was not in line with how the law specified. That is what got them sued and that is won the plaintiffs the case.

            Lesson: follow the law and even if you get sued, those suing you will probably lose. Of course there are exceptions.

      • NovusBogus
      • 2 years ago

      Litigators gonna litigate.

      • superjawes
      • 2 years ago

      You spelled “lawyers” wrong.

    • DrCR
    • 2 years ago

    Re the 10-K, does anyone have citation info? My web searching fu is failing me.

    I’m interested in the tort details, since if there’s not a least a casual connection between the asserted damages and the breach of a professional duty of care, the presence of fraudulent misrepresentation, or whatever they accusation may be, then they may not much of a case for a [i<]tort[/i<] -- right?

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 2 years ago

      Note 20 commitments and contingencies from the 10-k may provide some information. I’m not sure if that’s the same line used in every annual report from Intel.

      You may be able to find where the cases were filed and go from there for more info.

      Also, the CEO knew of the errata and sold his stock before the public was made aware. I’m not sure if that sale was made in the interest of the shareholders who were not privy to that information.

    • Waco
    • 2 years ago

    The entire thing was poorly handled but there’s no reason for any lawsuits to go forward.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      FWIW it does seem that Intel knew about the exploit before Kaby Lake even launched, but they proceeded with release without making any warnings or disclosures.

      Not sure if any other course of action would have been better though. Certainly publicly saying the chips may be vulnerable to an attack before a fix was available would only encourage malicious actors to go looking for it.

        • Waco
        • 2 years ago

        Not releasing vulnerabilities before fixes are available is standard practice.

          • jihadjoe
          • 2 years ago

          I was more concerned about the continued launch and sales of products known to be vulnerable.

          There could have been a stop-sale order until things could be fixed (like the Samsung Note 7), but I guess when you’re supplying 80% of the CPU market that might not be an option.

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            Yeah, the tech world would have ground to a halt if they’d stopped shipment.

          • ludi
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah, but if they had an idea that a serious problem existed and that the fix would have a material impact on their share price, they may have been legally obligated to make a statement about it at some point. And when your CEO liquidates a large number of options shortly before the news becomes public, that [i<]really[/i<] doesn't help your case.

    • shank15217
    • 2 years ago

    Th problem with these lawsuits is that it discourages innovation.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 2 years ago

      Now, to be fair, say something positive about lawsuits. You don’t to come across as a silly person, do you?

      • sweatshopking
      • 2 years ago

      citation needed.

      • albundy
      • 2 years ago

      so violating laws encourages innovation? must be a new rulebook that intel recently published.

        • shank15217
        • 2 years ago

        What did they violate? I didn’t know they had to look into the future for potential security issues in their multi-billion transistor cpu. The sharks have come home to make some money, plain and simple.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    I’m still waiting in my seat, popcorn-bucket at the ready for a real-world spectre/meltdown exploit to cause actual financial damage to anyone whatsoever.

    I’m not denying that these exploits pose a real risk to people but until anything happens it’s all conjecture and lawyer scaremongering.

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      When you think about it there are probably quite a few things we just don’t know about yet which could cause a similar situation, and there will probably be lawyers laying in wait for those also.

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]lawyers laying in wait[/quote<] Should that be 'lying'?

          • chuckula
          • 2 years ago

          No. Lawyers never wait when it comes to lying.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 2 years ago

            Lies wait for no man because lawyers are reptilian.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Well their mouths are moving so I’d say so.

        • NovusBogus
        • 2 years ago

        People’s heads would explode if they knew the whole sordid story about anything that they regularly use.

    • Parallax
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]the company makes no prediction of the lawsuits' financial impact[/quote<] Because speculative prediction might leak information?

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      *badum-tsss*

      Three upvotes for this person.

      • Wirko
      • 2 years ago

      The answer is an array of ‘yes’.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 2 years ago

      Maybe they should release a beta patch that bricks the courts?

      • Welch
      • 2 years ago

      You officially how the most upvotes i think I’ve seen on TR. Well deserved!

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    I got 99 problems but a lawsuit is — oh crap 32 of them.
    — Jay-Z Krzanich

      • 223 Fan
      • 2 years ago

      This is one instance AMD does not want to outdo Intel with 64.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        AMD is [url=https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3024664/amd-class-action-lawsuit-spectre-chip-flaw<]being sued too[/url<], BTW. Just not 32 lawsuits. Part of that is that lawyers like to sue targets with enough money to make things interesting.

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