New Intel Processors Will Include Built in Anti–Virus

Intel chip maker is releasing a new line of processors known as Tiger Lake.  This new line of processors are not only more efficient than their predecessors but will include an Anti-Virus technology known as Control-Flow Enforcement or CET.

This technology was developed by Intel in collaboration with Microsoft and was first introduced in 2016. Microsoft has already started supporting CET in the latest Windows patch and will push out fixes in the near future to existing Windows installs.

CET will not help against malware that wants to infiltrate your system but instead is intended to protect against malicious code that attempts to mask itself by taking advantage of and using existing code.

Malware can use vulnerabilities in other apps to hijack their control flow and insert malicious code into the app, making it so that the malware runs as part of a valid application. This process makes it very hard for software-based anti-virus programs to detect the malware. These are in-memory attacks, rather than writing code to the disk or ransomware. Intel cited TrendMicro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), which said 63.2% of the 1,097 vulnerabilities disclosed by ZDI from 2019 to today were related to memory safety.

“It takes deep hardware integration at the foundation to deliver effective security features with minimal performance impact,” wrote Tom Garrison, vice president of the client computing group and general manager of security strategies and initiatives at Intel.

Not only will this new line of processors include Anti-Virus capabilities but is said to have graphical processing abilities similar to a discrete GPU (Video Card) by Nvidia or AMD.

Intel is expected to release Xeons based on the Ice Lake architecture later this year, and Ice Lake has been available for desktops and laptops since 2018, so expect a wait. But Xeon will eventually get the technology, Intel says.