The privacy imposed by Intel still surrounds many details of the Meltdown and Specter vulnerabilities that have caused and continue to cause problems globally.
It is known that the information about vulnerabilities discovered is kept under extreme secrecy until a new patch is released. It is a mature and well-understood process.
But in the case of Meltdown and Specter, things did not go as expected.
"Normally, we have schedules and we fully disclose what happened," said Jonathan Corbet, who maintains documentation for the Linux kernel and is a member of the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board.
"In this case, there is still a lot of secrecy about Meltdown and Specter and how they can be managed."
Jess Frazelle, who works in open source, and containers for Linux at Microsoft, said at the linux.conf.au open-source software conference in Sydney on Wednesday:
"There are people who have publicly stated at this conference that they are not even allowed to name these vulnerabilities," Corbett said, referring to Intel's Casey Schaufler.
Schaufler presented a debate about the future of security at the Linux kernel, but he was forbidden to report even the most important problem with his company's products from the bug Pentium FDIV which was a generation ago.
Could vulnerabilities such as Meltdown and Specter be detected faster if manufacturers move to more open architectures, projects that could be repaired more directly by software communities?
Hardware hacker Andrew "bunnie" Huang believes this:
"Unfortunately, I think in the case of this particular error, all the components that were necessary for it to happen were published," but he is generally convinced that open hardware can help find other errors.
But the problem is purely profit:
Huang said it would be interesting to see what is happening with Intel, as the Pentium FDIV error cost them 475 million dollars 1994.
On the other hand, Huang wondered if this secrecy eventually helped.
"From whom are you trying to protect the entrance? Are you trying to make sure that random young scripters do not use vulnerabilities? Or are you looking to keep state hackers away? "If you are really trying to protect yourself, for example, from government hackers, these guys may already be listening to your communications and would know about the vulnerability as soon as you know about it."