Friday 22 January 2021 9:03 am

Intel to probe results hack as chip demand lifts revenue

Intel is investigating reports that financially sensitive information was stolen from its website last night in a hack that forced the chipmaker to release its quarterly results early.

Chief financial officer George Davis told the Financial Times that a graphic in its financial report had been stolen by a hacker.

Read more: Intel shares rise as chipmaker replaces chief executive

“Once we became aware of these reports, we made the decision to issue our earnings announcement a brief time before the originally scheduled release time,” an Intel spokesperson said.

Intel released its results minutes before markets closed yesterday, prompting a 6.5 per cent rise in shares. However, shares then dropped 4.6 per cent in after hours trading.

The US tech giant reported fourth-quarter revenue of $20bn (£14.6bn), a decline of one per cent but $2.6bn ahead of previous guidance. Earnings per share also came in ahead of expectations.

The performance was driven by better-than-expected chip sales thanks to increased demand for laptops and computers during the pandemic.

Read more: British chipmaker IQE pulls in record revenue amid bumper demand

“Demand for the computing performance Intel delivers remains very strong and our focus on growth opportunities is paying off,” said outgoing chief executive Bob Swan.

Intel said it was back on track with its manufacturing following a series of delays that have left it lagging behind rivals such as TSMC and Samsung.

The company had been weighing up a potential outsourcing of its chip manufacturing following pressure from activist investor Third Point.

But Pat Gelsinger, who will take over as Intel boss next month, said he was “confident that the majority of our 2023 products will be manufactured internally”.

Read more: British chipmaker Graphcore raises $222m as AI rivalry heats up

The hack will raise concerns about Intel’s cybersecurity capabilities amid a steady rise in cyber attacks against businesses and organisations with sensitive data.

Earlier this week around 4,000 files were stolen from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s website and posted online. Earlier this month a cyber criminal group posted documents on the dark web it claimed were stolen from Hackney Council during a cyber attack in October.

Read more: Beyond Imagination: What’s next for the scandal-hit British chipmaker?