Congressman requests Meltdown and Spectre briefing from chip makers

Representative McNerney wants to know how consumers will be impacted.

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US Representative Jerry McNerney sent a letter to Intel, AMD and ARM today requesting a briefing on the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities and the companies' handling of them. McNerney, a California representative and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, "I am looking to better understand the nature of these critical vulnerabilities, the danger they pose to consumers and what steps your companies plan to take to protect consumers."

The Meltdown and Spectre security flaws were brought to everyone's attention earlier this month and a number of companies have released patches to address the exploits. Intel, which has promised to patch all recent chips by the end of the month, is now facing a number of lawsuits over the bugs.

Along with requesting a briefing, Representative McNerney also listed a handful of issues that the companies should be able to address. Those include questions about how consumers will be impacted by Spectre and Meltdown, when the companies first learned of them, if there's any evidence that the vulnerabilities have been exploited and how the companies are ensuring new chips will be secure.

"The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities are glaring signs that we must take cybersecurity more seriously," said McNerney. "The warning signs keep piling on, yet cybersecurity practices continue to lag far behind."