Intel: Earnings Leak Down to Internal Error

Intel was forced to issue its financial results earlier than expected last week after an internal error made public some of the information before it was due to be released, the firm has confirmed.

Originally, Intel CFO, George Davis claimed a “hacker” had got hold of an infographic detailing the earnings, which was waiting to be published on the firm’s PR Newsroom site.

An Intel spokesperson told the Financial Times at the time: “We were notified that our infographic was circulating outside the company. I do not believe it was published. We are continuing to investigate this matter.”  

However, the chip giant since admitted that it was to blame.

“The URL of our earnings infographic was inadvertently made publicly accessible before publication of our earnings and accessed by third parties,” noted a new statement. “Once we became aware of the situation we promptly issued our earnings announcement. Intel’s network was not compromised and we have adjusted our process to prevent this in the future.”

In the end, the chip giant published its financials only minutes before they were due to go live anyway, although it meant traders had six minutes before the markets closed to act on the report.

The strong financials showed Intel beating Wall Street estimates, thanks to a 33% boost in the volume of PC chips it sold over the previous quarter, due to soaring lockdown demand from home workers and students.

Intel ended the day with its share price up over 6%, although it subsequently tumbled more than 9% the following day.

Immersive Labs’ chief cyber officer, Max Vetter, argued that this may have been linked to the earnings incident, and the uncertainty created over its origins.

“The negative impact on Intel’s finances is, unfortunately, a sign of why data security has become a boardroom issue,” he argued.

Incident response plans and organizational processes must always be primed to deal with any breaking threat, Vetter added.

“The ones who will respond best are the teams that have been drilling for such events far in advance to ensure that, if the worst does happen, they have the muscle memory to respond quickly and the agility to react when the unexpected hits,” he concluded.

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