Meltdown removes the barrier between user applications and sensitive parts of the operating system while Spectre, which is also reportedly found in some AMD and ARM processors, can trick vulnerable applications into leaking the contents of their memory.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off a large portion of his stake in the company months after the chip maker was informed by Google of a significant security vulnerability in its flagship PC processors - but before the problem was publicly known.
A little more than a month ago, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold approximately $24 million worth of Intel shares, a sale that almost eradicated Krazanich's entire position in the company.More news: Thank you and good luck, Bills fans
In this case, Krzanich set up the plan just a month before the shares were sold, in the period between Intel's initial discovery of the exploit, but before its public disclosure. I have a stock trading plan that is defined over time, so when stocks sell it's defined up front and I have no control over that. Krzanich sold $24 million in stocks and options back on November 29 although an Intel spokesperson claims the sale was part of a planned divestiture program (PDP) and had nothing to do with the vulnerabilities. But Intel's own CFO was targeting Intel's stock price hitting $60 per share by 2021, and Krzanich offered his own similarly bullish take in February of 2017.
But Google had previously notified Intel of the vulnerability in June, according to Business Insider. However, the circumstances surrounding the sale may attract the attention of the SEC, particularly given its value, which was in excess of $39 million. In fact there are reports that Intel was aware of the flaws in June. Then on the same day, Krzanich made two additional transactions in which he sold a total of 245,743 shares-and this brought his total remaining shares down to exactly 250,000. But the sale may still bring scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission for a number of reasons. His decision to set up that plan was "unrelated" to information about the security vulnerability, the representative said. Despite the representative stating the plan was unrelated, it certainly seems convenient for Krzanich that it occurred before news of the flaws caused shares to drop 3.4 percent on Wednesday.
October 30, 2017: Krzanich again changes the terms of his Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.