How exactly were Meltdown and Spectre Identified?

It was one fine weekend morning when three researchers from Graz’s university sat on their computer workspaces and started working on their codes. Earlier that week, the trio came up with an idea about creating a security breach in the sensitive information secured by processors on billions of computers. They planned to parse a PC’s kernel memory to identify how hackers can gain access to a user’s private information used on a specific computer.

Following evening, one of the three researchers, Daniel Gruss unraveled the secret of extracting information from one of the deepest, safest part of a computer’s memory, the kernel. He shared his success with his fellow digital hobbitians and informed them about this serious flaw within the system. It came to them as more of a shock rather than a sense of achievement and the very next day, the group sent out an alarming email to Intel regarding this breach.

This is Not Just an Intel Problem Any Longer

Initially, both the problems were identified focusing on Intel chips; however, it was observed that these CPU bugs know no limitations. These bugs were also found to create security level breaches in ARM and AMD processors to a certain extent. The vulnerability ensured that any meltdown based virus could directly impact on a number of devices including laptops, desktops, servers and mobile devices.

How to Avoid Meltdown and Spectre from affecting Your System?

As we have analyzed that no system is now safe from this prying menace, we are going to explain how one can avoid these nasty flaws from affecting different devices.

Google has released a security update that helps protect latest phones such as Nexus 5X, Pixel 2 from all such vulnerabilities. These updates will automatically install in the newer phones; however for the older ones from Settings >> System >> Find Update.

Apple, on the other hand, has given its verdict on the security flaw within its latest iOS 11.2 release. If you own an iPhone or iPad, you need to keep an eye out for any latest updates which you can always find on your device Settings.

Apple does not leave behind any other of its products, and therefore, it has added the fix for all its Mac devices as well. In case, you own a Mac device and wish to update the fix, then all you have to do is upgrade your macOS to macOS 10.13.2.

In case of Windows, where the bug was initially identified, Microsoft has released the latest update for Windows 10 and previous operating systems resolving the bug issue. Updates are automatically managed in the newest version of Windows, but in case you haven’t turned the automatic updates on; you can always access them by accessing control panel.

Keeping your chipset safe by updating to the latest OS is one thing, but make sure to update your browser settings as well. Alongside computer OS updates, it is also advised that you should update your browser settings too.

Concluding Thoughts

Security is a fundamental asset for every organization. Without secure infrastructures, your systems and databases are open to vulnerabilities. You can quickly end up as a victim of cyber espionage, identity theft, and other cyber threats. With CPU bugs such as Meltdown and Spectre entering the market, it is highly advised that you keep all your technology devices updated at all times. Follow latest trends, learn what’s going on in the technology sphere and make sure you keep your devices in check at all times. Your data can, at times, become more valuable than anything else in life.

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