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Spectre & Meltdown Warning

Posted in News | Useful on 5th January 2018 by


In news from the BBC this morning, Apple has warned that all iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by two major flaws in their computer chips, leaving devices open to two major vulnerabilities, MeltDown and Spectre. This follows releases from Google (having the latest security updates will protect their Android phones) and Microsoft (fixes for many of its products already released).

The microchips affected were manufactured by tech giants Intel, ARM & AMD although there are currently no cases of this vulnerability being exploited at the time of writing.

Spectre

“Spectre essentially gets programs to perform unnecessary operations – this leaks data that should stay confidential.” – BBC

Covering two exploitation techniques also known as “bounds check bypass” and “branch target injection”, Spectre is believed to be extremely difficult to exploit and is considered the smaller threat.

Meltdown

“Meltdown snoops on memory used by the kernel in a way that would not normally be possible, allowing it to grab data. ” – BBC

Also known as “rogue data cache load”, Meltdown is thought to be the larger threat due to its greater potential for exploitation.

What to do

If you’re concerned about either of these threats exploiting your devices, consult an IT professional for advice and ensure your device is up-to-date with the latest security updates & patches.


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