CNET: Details on Big Chip Flaws Spectre and Meltdown

Silicon processing chips are reported to have security flaws known as Spectre and Meltdown that could expose computer to hacking attacks. Skilled hackers could view passwords, encryption keys and other secret data on those chips. “To make computer processes run faster, a chip will essentially guess what information the computer needs to perform its next function,” explains Laura Hautala for CNET. “As the chip guesses, that sensitive information is momentarily easier to access.” Both problems emerge after malware is installed: Hackers can use Spectre to trick the devices into starting its speculative execution and guessing the computer’s next function. Meltdown can access the computer’s operating system. Microsoft has prepared a patch, and cloud services, phones and other devices are vulnerable. The design flaw may have been in place for as long as two decades. Researchers and companies report they know of no hacking incidents. Hautala recommends updating all software, web browsers, Flash and frequent scans with security software. – YaleGlobal

CNET: Details on Big Chip Flaws Spectre and Meltdown

Design flaws in processing chips, Spectre and Meltdown, may have exposed sensitive data on computers for as long as 20 years; experts urge avoiding malware
Laura Hautala
Thursday, January 4, 2018

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Laura Hautala is a staff reporter for CNET.

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