Chip Security Flaws

Jan 2018 opens with some potentially significant flaws in computer security at the chip level.

Describes the "SPECTER" and "MELTDOWN" flaws that occur in some, or all microprocessors.

These allow access to protected data (passwords for example) by unauthorized persons as a side

effect of the way processor conditional processing occurs (a technique used to improve performance.)

[My understanding, the actually mechanisms may be different]

For a 2020 "update" ... this type of flaw, or something more intentional is a source of concern with respect to design/manufacturing of chips "off shore" particularly when they are then imported for incorporation into widely deployed systems (cell phones, routers, 5G phone control systems, etc.) ... the concern being that it is almost impossible for analysis to detect "back doors" that might allow spying or takeover of control. A related historical reference is the "Farewell Dossier" situation ... the CIA version and a perhaps more interesting (and maybe urban myth) version. "The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space.''