Hello All! First, I hope everybody had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! As always, there is a scare in the news that needs to be addressed.
First, the flaws exist in processors. These flaws are called “Meltdown” and “Spectre”. Modern processors are designed to perform “speculative execution”, which in layman terms means they predict what tasks they will be asked and rapidly access multiple areas of memory at the same time to serve up those tasks. The data is supposed to be protected, but in some cases, the information can be exposed while the processor queues it up. Basically almost all desktops, laptops, smartphones and servers are affected by the Spectre. Meltdown appears to be specific to Intel chips. Intel chips are found in everything from personal computers to medical equipment. However, the company said in a press release that “many types of computing devices — with many different vendors’ processors and operating systems — are susceptible to these exploits.” They also said they are working with other chipmakers, including AMD and ARM Holdings, to solve the issue. ARM said in a statement a small subset of its processors are susceptible to the flaws. AMD said in a statement there is a “near zero risk of exploitation” for one of the security issues, due to architecture differences.
Ultimately, the resolution for the issue will likely be a software patch, starting from Microsoft and Apple. Apple has already released some fixes for Meltdown and will release fixes for Spectre later.
Also, I feel that the scare tactics on almost a daily basis are getting to be a bit much. The likelihood of this issue effecting you at all is as AMD said “Near Zero”. The flaw does exist, however, to execute the exploit is a very tough, almost impossible thing to do in my opinion. My honest advice is, don’t lose a moments sleep from the announcement, the resolution will be swift for the almost non existent threat.
The Nerds are here to save you. If you need Computer repair or IT Support in Austin or in San Antonio, Call 877-250-8575 or you can book online by going to NerdsinaFlash.com and click the “Book Now” button in the upper right hand corner.
Kelley Sanford Jr
Article referenced CNN Money.