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What you need to do about newly discovered computer chip flaws

13 January, 2018, 01:52 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • Intel says rapidly issuing updates to all processors impacted by Meltdown

As per reports, the Intel processors with the "x-86-64 hardware" have a security flaw that makes a vast number of computers susceptible to hacking.

Meltdown is a particular problem for the cloud computing services run by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

Meltdown, the first flaw to come to light, affects mostly Intel chips - likely all of them manufactured since 2010, according to researchers.

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. Those bugs could enable malicious actors to access sensitive information found anywhere in a device's memory.

"If you download the latest update from Microsoft, Apple, or Linux, then the problem is fixed for you and you don't have to worry", security researcher Rob Graham said in a blog post Thursday.

Working independently of one another, several different groups of security researchers discovered the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities late previous year.


After details about Meltdown began coming to light earlier this week, researchers went public with their findings and tech organizations began rolling out patches. Rather, because key members of Google's Project Zero and data company Rambus told The New York Times that, at least in Spectre's case, this flaw is at such a level that it can not be fixed by any old security patch.

They added that it's also unclear whether either flaw has yet been abused "in the wild". A new flaw has been discovered with the company's CPUs, which puts all users at risk. Intel encourages computer users worldwide to use the automatic update functions of their operating systems and other computer software to ensure their systems are up to date. Google, Intel, AMD and ARM started working with Operating System makers such as Microsoft and Apple in June 2017 to release security updates that would thwart this threat.

'By the end of next week, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90 percent of processor products introduced within the past five years, ' it continued.

"While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact", Intel said. You'd better get used to it, because Spectre and Meltdown are deep problems that aren't easily patched. They are pushing out security updates, or patches, which will protect your computer, tablet or phone against a breach that uses the Meltdown vulnerability.

Intel did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday about the lawsuit. "Without great IoT device management, this is going to be extremely hard to accomplish". Apple, on the other hand, has been predictably mum on how it's dealing with the matter.

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