Previous reports have claimed that Intel's new server chips are open to remote hacking and now Intel is confirming these reports. What seems to be the problem is that the onboard “Management Engine” has holes that could potentially allow remote hackers run malicious software and get restricted access. This affects 2015 or newer desktops and laptops using sixth, seventh and eighth generation Core chips (Skylake, Kaby Lake and Kaby Lake R), and Pentium, Celeron, Atom and multiple Xeon chips.

Intel wrote on their security bulletin that the worst that can happen is hackers will be able to "load and execute arbitrary code outside the visibility of the user and operating system." Hackers could also potentially get privilege escalation rights due to vulnerabilities in the Management Engine and Intel’s Server Platform Services.

With a little more positive news, Intel has published a detection tool for Linux and Windows to hopefully help administrators and users detect if their systems are vulnerable to hacking. Intel’s also released a fix for their PC users, however only Dell, Lenovo and Intel have listed affect systems. There also doesn’t seem to be any firmware updates coming yet.

With the amount of information released, not everyone is clear how serious these vulnerabilities are going to be. "We have no real idea how serious this is yet," said Google security researcher Matthew Garrett. "It could be fairly harmless, it could be a giant deal."

So to be safe, if you own a recent PC with a Core or Pentium Intel chip, you should probably assume that your machine is affected. However, researchers say that there’s isn’t a way for hackers to uses these flaws unless you already have access to a network. Hopefully this whole ordeal turns out to be harmless.

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