IT Security

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Google researchers have found two major security flaws in Intel microprocessors.

The first flaw, named ‘Spectre’, is found in chips by Intel, AMD and ARM. However the second, named ‘Meltdown’, just appears to affect Intel chips. This doesn’t seem to be a recent thing though as some chips dating back from 1995 are affected by these issues.

What is a Microchip

A microchip is the basic electronic system behind a huge amount of devices nowadays like phones and computers. They do their work by moving data around and store information on various different memory types.

This stored data is meant to be secure from snooping however, these two bugs mean that it is possible for the temporary stored data to be accessed.

Current Affect

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has stated that currently there is no evidence of any of these vulnerabilities being exploited by malicious groups. It is reported that the industry has known about this issue for months and had hoped it would be resolved before going public.

Intel have stated they were going to release this information next week and several security firms have come out and backed this up to say that they had made a secrecy pact with Intel about this.

ARM, AMD and Intel response

Intel have initially come out and stated, “Many types of computing devices - with many different vendors' processors and operating systems - are susceptible to these exploits”. ARM have announced that they have already have released patches and shared this with their customers. AMD stated, “near zero risk to AMD products at this time".

The Fix

Microsoft have announced that patches will be rolled out on Thursday, 04 January 2018, and also stating it had no reason to believed data had been compromised. Apple are also working on patches for the issues.

For users of Google devices and applications more steps on protection can be found here:

Current basic guidance from all parties is to install new patches as soon as possible.

Further Reading

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