back to article Intel's embedded security strategy faces tech obstacles

Security vendors have welcomed Intel's $7.7bn acquisition of McAfee as confirmation of the importance of security in the future of computing but warned plans to embed security in chips will pose difficult technical challenges and may upset existing partners. Intel's blockbuster deal follows Symantec’s recent acquisition of PGP …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    How good is embedded security?

    I was not aware that embedded security like hardware-enforced DEP had put much of a dent in malware. Is that perception wrong?

  2. Anonymous Coward


    "Security vendors have welcomed Intel's $7.7bn acquisition of McAfee as confirmation of the importance of security in the future of computing"

    Well there's a surprise. Not. People whose businesses depend on security scares think their future is helped by Intel paying way over the odds for something that **end users** would be better off without.

    End users (and indeed IT departments, if they'd just stop acting like Wintel zombies) would be better off with OSes and application platforms that were secure from the ground up, rather than the "defective by design" mess that is the Wintel world at the moment. And not just Wintel either, there are a few platform-independent exploits such as cross site scripting and whatnot.

    Stuff like Mcafee is a bandaid on an open wound, but when your business is selling bandaids, you don't really want the would to heal too quickly do you...

    1. The Original Steve


      I look forward to a URL to the bug free platform you are running. I'll give it a whirl.

      I thought people like you went away over the last 10 years...? It's generally acepted that large code projects like platforms WILL have bugs. There simply isn't any OS or platform that has never had a security hole patched.

      We are humans - we are not perfect.

      We code - the code will not be perfect.

      Yeah, McAfee is shite. However best pratice is a layered security approach rather than getting a vendor to tell you "it's secure from the ground up" and then slapping a box with no firewall and no AV, on a network with no IDS/IPS and no network-level AV, straight into the Internet (using IPv6 just to ensure there's no NAT in the way for infections) and obviously not turning on the non-existant automatic updates as it's perfect anyway.

      Personally I'd rather stick to known truths. No platform is 100% secure - so a multi-layer multi-vendor security approach is the way I run the security at the networks I manage.

      (That's AV by Sophos on the desktop and servers, McAfee on the mail servers and web-filter, Juniper IDS, Kaspersky on the firewalls and routers, everyone runs as a user and UAC is enabled on all devices. Oh - and patches are applied ASAP after I test them)

      But I'd happily skip all of that if you can provide me with that URL.


  3. Jared Vanderbilt

    Yea, lets just allow the plague to spread and only treat the survivors.

    Anti-virus by its very nature is reactive. It only becomes effective after the outbreak has spread to the point where it has been detected, analyzed, then prescribed.

    The answer is prevention. The answer is building hardware that supports and encourages the distribution of hardened operating systems and applications. Hardware enforced sandboxing is what the chip makers should be spending their (our) money on.

  4. brym

    If AMD buys a vendor...

    ...I'd like that vendor to be AVG.

  5. Prof Null

    They are gonna do WHAT?

    So let me get this straight: the "security software" will be hardwired into the chips right?

    . . . . . so any bug, error or weakness will also be hardwired into the chips too.

    Sounds like a whole lotta product recalls on the way to me - unless these firms can create perfect bug-free code. Riiiiiight. NOT.

    Nice ideals guys, but I won't be holding my breath.

  6. Mage Silver badge


    This is still a monumental waste.

    However, it's Intel's money and may make a profit. But I still think has no relevance to chips.

    Education of users is more effective than AV/anti-malware software. Blackhats "trick" (not hard) users into installing the stuff. Putting magic McAfee Pixies inside the chip will not stop that at all.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Huh ? Security in TVs ??

    Good God please say it ain't so ! TVs are dumb terminals and should stay that way.

    Any effort to grant them programmatic knowledge is just a security hole begging to be abused., or to imprint them with the ability to refuse to show the film we just bought at the store.

    TVs should stay dumb, period.

    That is non-negotiable.

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