All our devices are affected by ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’: What are they and how to guard yourself

Wasn’t the name of the criminal organization in James Bond movies called SPECTRE? Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion.

(From The News Minute)

What Spectre does, is use a processor’s speculative execution capability and branch prediction to read secrets from a process’s memory. How it does this is, it trains a branch predictor to take one path, and then after many iterations, makes a speculative execution of code that shouldn’t be run. It basically tricks programs into leaking kernel-level secrets.

Spectre is a flaw that is harder to execute. However, this also makes it harder to fix as compared to Meltdown. Spectre is also a bigger worry given that it impacts all devices running on Intel, AMD or AMR processors. That is all smartphones, computers, wearables and laptops…

…Experts suggest that the best protection against these exploits is to ensure you’re up to date with the security patches.

Google, Microsoft and other tech giants have already begun rolling out security patches and firmware updates. Patches are available for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7, Linux, and Android.

Fixes have begun rolling out for Linux, Android, and Microsoft Windows 10. So, if you’re using an Android phone, or are a developer using Linux in the cloud, it’s time to update your operating system.

And sorry Apple people. It sounds like you’re affected too.

Click here for the article.