Intel regularly faces cyber attacks by intellectual property thieves and malicious hackers, the chip maker's latest report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission reveals.
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The company admits that one recent and sophisticated incident occurred in January 2010 and that such attacks are sometimes successful.
"We seek to detect and investigate these security incidents and to prevent their recurrence, but in some cases we might be unaware of an incident or its magnitude and effects," the report said.
The revelations do not appear to be anything out of the ordinary in the light of similar admissions by Microsoft and reports of a series of attacks on Google and at least 20 other companies in January.
But the Intel report lays bare the risks of cyber attacks that companies face, such as lost productivity due to disruption to the business, the cost of product recalls, and damage to company reputation.
The theft and/or unauthorised use or publication of trade secrets and other confidential business information as a result of security incidents could adversely affect a company's competitive position.
Such incidents could reduce marketplace acceptance of products and reduce the value of investment in research and development and marketing, the report said.
Third parties might also claim against a company or its customers related to resulting losses of confidential or proprietary information or end-user data and/or system reliability, the report said.