Protect against the Meltdown and Spectre threats
Meltdown and Spectre are viruses than can infect devices from PCs to smartphones. Spectre can also affect Apple Macs, tablets and iPhones. They exploit the way processors use their core memory, stealing tiny snippets of data with the potential of piecing together information such as passwords.
Corporations are most at risk, although the vulnerability is currently low. However, the risk has increased because it’s now open knowledge that the vulnerability exists and can be exploited. Cyber criminals are unlikely to exploit it because it’s very difficult to do, but hostile foreign government agencies could have the resources needed.
The way to protect yourself and your organisation is to ensure that updates and patches are installed and launched as soon as they become available. Windows 10 machines should do this automatically and the patch for Meltdown has already been released. Updates for Windows 7 and 8 are imminent (as of 9th Jan 2018). Apple’s macOS, 10.13.2 is protected, but not earlier versions. Google have said that Android phones are protected by the recent updates.
It will take longer for the patches for Spectre to be released but internet browsers are being updated as we speak to offer some protection.
It goes without saying that you need to keep your Virus Protection Software up-to-date. It’s also been suggested that disabling adverts in browsers will help.
For more information, I recommend you go to the BBC Technology News
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