Deep inside countless computers is a vulnerability that could give hackers free rein to take over your computer and load it up with viruses. Worse, there isn't much you can do about it.
This potential cyberattack involves chips from Intel, one of the world's most-used processors. This hack affects Intel chips going back to 1997, and AMD chips may also be at risk.
That's according to researchers at a recent Black Hat conference. The Black Hat conference is where the cybersecurity industry, along with government officials and academics, try to pinpoint security risks before they become a massive problem.
This is what they found. The Intel chips that are running on PCs around the world are vulnerable to rootkit malware. Rootkits lay hidden within your computer and give hackers complete access to it.
The rootkit can't by itself infect your computer. But it can make an existing malware problem much worse.
Once the rootkit takes hold, hackers can infect your computer with other viruses and mess up your computer's operating system. Worse, rootkits lie so deep inside your computer that your anti-virus protection isn't going to do much good; it probably won't even find it.
There is good news here. First, Intel is aware of the problem and is working on fixes, according to Black Hat researchers. Plus, hackers have to have administrative access to your computer to infect it.
Using your computer as a Standard user goes a long way to preventing this problem. Click here to learn what kind of account you're using and how to change it.
We'll keep you posted in Happening Now to this potential Intel hack. Keep reading for updates as they happen.
Plus, check out our tips here for ridding your computer of rootkits. It involves more than installing your everyday anti-virus program.