Within the past week, Microsoft has issued updates that address Meltdown and Spectre, two flaws that are affecting almost all CPUs around the world. The flaws are allowing processor exploits to steal passwords and other important data from any device. IT support experts in LA want to make sure you are informed and protected from these damaging flaws.
What are Meltdown and Spectre?
Meltdown, seemingly only affecting Intel processors, is allowing hackers to enter the barrier between users’ applications and the computer’s core memory. Therefore, a change is required to how the operating system handles memory and can ultimately affect the speed of the entire computer.
Spectre is more widespread, thus affecting most processors, and it allows hackers to enter usually problem-free applications and attain secret user information. Though Spectre is harder to exploit, it is also harder to fix and is more likely to cause a bigger problem in the future.
Steps for Protection
Apple has recently sent out software updates that are taking care of the Meltdown exploits. Researchers say that Apple had a plan set for desktop users affected by Meltdown. Apple advised their users to update their devices from the Apple Store. These fixes are not perfect. The patches for Meltdown could slow down computers up to 30%. IT support experts in LA advise users to update their software no matter if a user is just a laptop user or work for a data center.
Unfortunately, for those affected by Spectre, the fixes are not to be immediate nor easy. Spectre is a unique way to get access through computers, but with it being so unique, it takes a person with a certain expertise to exploit it. Researchers say that there are short-term fixes for Spectre, but the long-term effects are the most damaging. Spectre fixes may need hardware changes, which is a problem due to the need for buying new devices. The average user may not have to worry about Spectre as much as those working at a major data center or cloud vendor where a lot of important information is held. For these people, Spectre is something to be aware of for the next few years.
In terms of Meltdown, experts say servers and cloud services can be the only ones affected, which puts small and medium-sized businesses at risk.
Though Spectre is hard for hackers to take advantage of, the risk and a lot of valuable information are still on the line. The threat of Meltdown may be hypothetical, but it does not need a lot of technical knowledge to exploit. So, to be sure, it is best to gather as much information as you can to learn about these flaws and protect yourself from them.
If you are in need of IT support in LA or want to learn more about these flaws and how to protect your important information, then please contact Advanced Networks.