Meltdown and Spectre scare: What we know so far

Meltdown and Spectre scare: What we know so far

Based on the analysis to date, many types of computing devices - with many different vendors' processors and operating systems - are susceptible to these exploits.

The good news is, software patches for Windows, Mac, and Linux can stop Meltdown. The information regarding the specific bug has been kept confidential between software and hardware vendors.

If you use the Google Cloud Platform, though, you might have some work to do on your end.

Luckily, there are a couple of measures you can take to stay safe from Meltdown and Spectre, but on the other side of the coin, you can't really be invulnerable to them. The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD [,] and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information. The company says that its microarchitecture doesn't allow memory references; which is likely what the Intel problem is about. It has also released updates for Windows 7, 8.1, Windows 10 Version 1511, Version 1507 and all other Windows versions supported or unsupported. That bulletin still warns that chips may need to be replaced. Many services can be exposed and affected.

Windows Insiders on the Fast ring for Windows 10 have already received the patch in the last two months of 2017, while other Windows 10 users will automatically download the fix via Windows Update.

But on Thursday, the group deleted that recommendation.

Meanwhile, Google launched Chrome OS 63 with protections in December, so Chromebooks should be safe as well.

Not completely. But they have tough partial fixes.

According to The Verge.

Happy New Year! Kicking off the new year in the world of PCs comes word of a pretty serious design flaw in Intel CPUs that apparently will require key re-designs to operating systems like Windows and Linux. It looks like regular programs, including a simple JavaScript app in a browser, could read the contents of the protected kernel memory. So far no data breaches have been reported. There appeared to be no known fix when the research became public, but Google engineers said the next day that they had developed solutions that did not impact performance in a noticeable way.

The early disclosure - the first confirmed details of the security issue - came as speculation heightened of a massive CPU hardware bug that was initially thought to only affect Intel products.

"I think that the effect will last for several years", he speculated.

While CERT/CC has withdrawn its recommendation to replace processors, US-CERT - a related group that operates officially under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security - has yet to update its own bulletin, issued earlier on Thursday.

"Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a 'bug' or a 'flaw' and are unique to Intel products are incorrect". "A lot of that is because you have a lot of people who don't have the right skillsets". The bug is seen to impact common virtualization environments including Amazon EC2 and Google Compute Engine.

Intel was also very careful to note that its affected processors were "acting as they were designed to operate", Smith said, which means Intel doesn't plan to recall affected processors as it has in the past for chips with a dysfunctional component.

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