Intel Faces 32 Lawsuits Over Security Flaws
Intel Corp. said on Friday shareholders and customers had filed 32 class action lawsuits against the company in connection with recently-disclosed security flaws in its microchips.
Most of the lawsuits - 30 - are customer class action cases that claim that users were affected by Intel’s “actions and/or omissions” related to the flaws, which could allow hackers to steal data from computers.
Intel said in a regulatory filing it was not able to estimate the potential losses that may arise out of the lawsuits.
“30 customer class action lawsuits and two securities class action lawsuits have been filed," says Intel in an SEC filing today.
The customer class action lawsuits are "seeking monetary damages and equitable relief," while the securities lawsuits "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."
Intel is also facing action from three shareholders who have each filed shareholder derivative actions that allege certain board members and officers at Intel have failed "to take action in relation to alleged insider trading." These filings appear to be related to the concerns that have been raised over Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's stock sales.
Security researchers at the start of January publicized two flaws, dubbed Spectre and Meltdown, that affected nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings.
The companies have issued fixes, but some patches slowed down computers, leading sector analysts say producers could potentially face suits from clients and consumers claiming damages because their devices did not work as they should.
Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich sold 889,879 shares in the company on Nov. 29 as per a trading plan adopted on Oct. 30, making roughly $39 million from the sale, well before the details of the flaw were made public.
It was reported last month that although Intel says Krzanich’s sales were part of a pre-arranged stock plan, securities lawyers believed the larger-than-usual transaction could be examined by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
Krzanich said last month that Google researchers told Intel of the flaws “a while ago”.
Google says it informed the affected companies about the Spectre flaw on June 1, 2017, and reported the Meltdown flaw after the first flaw but before July 28, 2017.
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