Meltdown and Spectre are security vulnerabilities present in many modern
processors. Hackers may exploit these flaws in order to steal data being
processed using affected hardware.
Meltdown allows hackers to read any kernel memory, regardless of whether
they have the required security permissions.
Spectre is a whole class of vulnerabilities that force programs on any
given operating system to provide access to a location in a program’s
Because of the ubiquity of the processors affected, these flaws are
present in a range of hardware, from Mobile phones, tablets and PCs,
right up to cloud servers. So it is important for businesses to secure
any vulnerable devices.
What are some of the steps you can take to protect your important
Your PC’s manufacturer should provide firmware updates that resolve
issues caused by these vulnerabilities. Check their company website and
make sure you download and install them as soon as is possible. If you
have built your own PC, you may need updates for a range of components.
As well as any chips you used, also check the maker of your motherboard.
Intel and AMD are offering updates directly, so make a list of any of
their products in your PC and get the relevant firmware.
Update Windows with the required patches
Your Windows PC may have already automatically downloaded and installed
the patches to protect against Meltdown and Spectre, but it is still
worth checking to ensure this is actually the case.
Open Start Menu and click on Settings > Update & Security settings >
Windows Update. Then, click the Check for updates button. Any available
updates will be displayed. Don’t forget to restart your PC to finalise patch configuration.
Web browser updates
Web browsers can be a weak point for hackers trying to exploit chip
vulnerabilities, but browser developers are providing updates and
patches to resolve this issue. If there are no updates for your current
browser, then consider switching to a safer option.
Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and Apple are all in the process of releasing
updates to combat Meltdown and Spectre issues with their browsers.
Again, some of these are automatic, but you check for updates and
restart your browser if needs be.
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