Computer Chip Security Flaw Update – Spectre & Meltdown

by | Jan 9, 2018 | Blog, Security

If you’ve been keeping up with computer news over the last few days, you might have heard about Meltdown and Spectre. You might be wondering what they are, what they can do, and how they will affect you. Basically, Meltdown and Spectre are the names for multiple new vulnerabilities discovered and reported for numerous computer processors. Meltdown is a vulnerability for Intel processors while Spectre can be used to attack nearly all processor types.

Bottom line: Tekmanagement is working with our industry partners, including Microsoft, Sonicwall, Datto, Dell, and HP,  to take measured and appropriate steps to mitigate the risks. For those of our clients on a Tekprotect agreement, please make sure you sign out, and leave your workstation/PC turned on Tuesday night so we can install the latest updates during the night.

The potential danger of an attack using these vulnerabilities includes being able to read “secured” memory. This can reveal personally identifiable information, banking information, and of course usernames and passwords.

Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, and other vendors have been releasing patches to help protect users from these vulnerabilities. You may have heard that some of the updates from Microsoft may negatively interact with certain anti-virus solutions. We always work hard to make sure any “patch” to a system doesn’t create other problems. We have verified with our anti-virus, anti-malware software, and security appliance companies that they are compatible with the latest Microsoft updates.

Updating browsers, operating systems, and applying patches as soon as they are available are the best actions to take to protect your systems.

We will learn over the coming days and weeks about the potential performance impact on existing computers, as well as the need for firmware or other updates. There will continue to be significant speculation about this issue, therefore we will be posting notable updates on our social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. Our best information has us expecting that older computers will be hit the hardest on the performance front.

If you have questions, or need assistance applying updates, our Help Desk is standing by.

For official news from Intel regarding the security findings, click here.