What are Spectre & Meltdown ?

January 9th, 2018 - Category - IT & Cyber Security, Newsletters

What are Spectre & Meltdown ?

Intel, ARM and AMD have been shown to share critical design flaws in their computer chips that compromise security. The flaws have been called Spectre & Meltdown. The flaws have been present for 18+ years.

The flaws were discovered by Google (amongst others), who have warned that a hacker / attacker could use the flaws to steal sensitive or confidential information.

Who is affected ?

Pretty much every PC, Laptop, Tablet & smartphone is affected by the flaw regardless of manufacturer or whether you run Microsoft Windows, MAC OSX, IOS etc.

What is a Computer Chip / Processor ?

A CPU or Central Processing Unit is the brain of a Computer.

A CPU is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/output operations specified.

Am I in Immediate Danger ?

Intel and Google have both stated that they have not seen any attacks from these two flaws in the wild to date, so that is good news.

Meltdown primarily is targeted at Intel processors, although ARM (who make chips for iPhones) have said their chips are vulnerable too.

Google has said they have been able to execute Spectre attacks on processors from just about all manufactures (Intel, ARM and AMD). According to Google there is no simple single fix.

It is much harder to pull off a Spectre based attack.

What should I do about it ?

If you are a Netstar client, please continue to follow advice already provided in maintaining a multi-layered approach to security and protecting your network and data.

Please contact your Account Manager if you would like to readdress security systems in place or feel free to call us on 020 7160 6385.

Please view our cyber security blog for more advice https://www.netstar.co.uk/category/it-cyber-security/

For our clients, we will work to ensure that relevant patches and updates are rolled out automatically through our patching regime once fully tested.

Please do not attempt to patch machines yourself manually. There can be compatibility problems which we need to manage for you to avoid downtime.

About Mit Patel

Mit - Managing Director. In 2002, Mit founded Netstar. He has helped grow Netstar to become an indispensable partner to some of London’s finest businesses, including well known names in the Financial Services industry. Mit works across all aspects of the business including strategic planning and key account management. Mit is focused on ensuring the delivery of a high quality service, and providing strategic value to help our customers overcome their business challenges.

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