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Spectre and Meltdown processor chips scare affecting Apple and Windows

05 January 2018

Spectre and Meltdown Flaws in INTEL and ARM processor chips affect Macs and Windows

I wasn't expecting my first blog of the new year to be on the same subject as my previous one, namely security.

The news on public release this morning about vulnerabilities concerning processor chips produced by INTEL and ARM which cover the majority of machines must have rolled across several desks quite some time ago.

If it is in the public domain now then it has been common knowledge in the cyber community for quite some time.

No doubt there was a lot of behind the scenes activity and they realised that the problem was a big one and was not going to go away.

The issue is that it is a vulnerability in chips produced by two completely separate companies.

What can you do ?

The short answer is ensure that your security is upto date and you follow or adopt best practice.

Make sure that you download all the latest patches and updates available.

Apparently, the patches may cause computer systems to slow down, but the impact on this is being played down.

Apple and Windows Affected

The majority of malware has always been devised for windows machines. It has the largest market share and thus is the most rewarding target, but the sense of security felt by Apple owners is threatened by these newly discovered flaws.

They are called Meltdown and Spectre (I would love to know who dreamt these two names up, it has cynicism written all over it, optimism doesn't get a look in)

Servers are run on chips too.

You have to consider that this is not just pc's and macs affected. This vulnerability extends to servers. 
So when you look at it from that perspective you realise that they: Apple, Windows, Intel and ARM must be pouring huge amounts of resource into resolving it.

It may even be that ARM and INTEL are pooling R&D information to arrive at the speediest resolution to this issue. A bit like cross political party support in the best interests of running the country....

Don't put off that security review

If you have outsourced IT, it's worth while getting in touch to ensure that your security is up to date.

What could happen next?

The race is on effectively, by the Chip producers and the windows and apple software devlopers to fix this and by the people looking to identify a way to exploit the flaw and commercialise it.

All sounds a bit negative, but keep your security up to date.

 

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