Intel CEO Brian Krzanich didn’t dodge the embarrassing issue of the Spectre and Meltdown bugs that have rocked the computer industry in the past week. Krzanich opened his keynote at CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week, by addressing the problem.

The massive security flaw in computer processors emerged last week, forcing companies to reassure customers and tell a befuddled public what steps they are taking to protect them. The flaw is casting a potential pall over CES, which is a celebration of all things tech.

“The collaboration of so many companies has been truly remarkable,” Krzanich said, noting that everyone from chip makers to operating system vendors to system companies has participated in finding ways to patch the bugs and protect consumer data.

Above: Intel CES keynote

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

“Security is job No. 1 for Intel and our industry, and the primary focus of our decisions have been to keep our customers’ data safe,” Krzanich said.

We have no information [suggesting that] these exploits have been used to obtain customer data,” Krzanich said. He added that Intel’s software patches and other vendors’ updates would patch more than 90 percent of computers within a week, and a solution for all computers could be available by the end of the month.

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“When we come together like this, there are endless possibilities,” he said.

The computing flaw was also addressed by Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm, at that company’s press event earlier in the day. I asked Amon if the issue would delay the shipment of Qualcomm chips, and he said he believed the matter would be addressed through patches.

So far, CEOs aren’t shying away from addressing the bug, and they’re being transparent about it. That’s probably good PR advice. Meanwhile, check out the amazing video below.

And here are his full remarks on Spectre and Meltdown.

Today is a day when we all come together to celebrate the lifeblood of our amazing industry – and that’s really about innovation. But before we start, I want to take a moment to thank the industry for coming together for another purpose – to address the recent security research findings reported as “Meltdown” and “Spectre.”
“The collaboration among so many companies to address this industry-wide issue across several different processor architectures has been truly remarkable. Security is job number one for Intel and our industry. So, the primary focus of our decisions and our discussions have been to keep our customer’s data safe.

“As of now, we have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customer data. And we are working tirelessly on these issues to ensure it stays that way. The best thing you can do to make sure your data remains safe is to apply any updates from your operating system vendor and system manufacturer as soon as they become available.

“For our processors, products introduced in the past five years, Intel expects to issue updates for more than 90 percent of them within a week and the remaining by the end of January. We believe the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent. As a result, we expect some workloads may have a larger impact than others, so we will continue working with the industry to minimize the impact on those workloads over time.

“When we come together like this, there are endless possibilities. And I’d like to share some of those possibilities now with you. So, if you’ll indulge me, I’d love nothing more than to simply put my phone away and take this evening to truly celebrate innovation with you.

This is undoubtedly the kind of thing Krzanich would rather have talked about at CES.