Analysts from Positive Technologies claimed that Intel's chips and processors contain an enigmatic "logic signal analyzer" capable of reading "virtually all data on a computer". Claims are likely to cause concern to those who like conspiracy theories, although research does not prove long-standing rumors that NSA has hidden "backdoors"On computer chips used to spy on billions of people. Maxim Goryachy and Mark Ermolov unveiled their findings at the Black Hat Conference, a hub for Singapore hackers and cyber experts.
The technology was discovered in the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) on Intel motherboards as well as in the main processor. Together, these parts of the computer serve as his "brain".
It is called VISA and can allow hackers to access the information stored in the computer memory as well as information generated by the "peripherals". VISA technology was thought to be used to control Intel's microchips for flaws, but Positive Technologies suggested it could also be used to "collect and analyze" data.
This feature would be useful for hackers who want to steal information - as well as for spies or for those who are interested in exporting sensitive information from a system. Normally, VISA technology is disabled in commercial systems. However, researchers have claimed they have found a way to activate it.
Intel told Metro that vulnerability to VISA technology is real but requires "physical access", which means that hackers could not activate it via the internet and start stealing information. However, he said that the problem had been addressed and repaired.