What is Spectre and Meltdown?

By Alex Probert

computer chip cartoon vulnerabilities
UH-OH: Massive vulnerabilities found with CPUs.

Two vulnerabilities have been identified on the main part of a computer component, this component is the processor. The processor’s main job is to handle instructions from the user with input and output operations. The processor will essentially predict the information that it may need to improve speed and performance, this is called speculative execution.

The first of two vulnerabilities found involves accessing secret information that is stored when the processor is predicting what it will need next to perform the function. The other vulnerability found involves the operating system, where it will access secret information when it is being used in a legitimate process, this is known as a side-channel attack.

The companies that have rolled out the patches to resolve the vulnerabilities may cause computers to work 30% slower. The chips that are affected are AMD, Intel, and Arm – all of which basically cover the majority of computers in the world. The vulnerabilities don’t just affect computers but also; servers, routers, smartphones and other devices. Devices from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple are also affected – requiring patches to be applied as soon as they are released.

It is essential to ensure all your devices are kept up to date to protect from possible hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities.

Don’t be like UberImgurEquifaxTalkTalk or Morrisons – be a secure, safe and responsible business that knows how to handle customer and business data responsibly and within the boundaries of the law.

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