Protect Your Devices From New Security Flaws

January 5, 2018

A pair of CPU flaws known as Meltdown and Spectre can allow hackers to access protected information on your computer’s memory. This could make your passwords, personal photos and email, or anything else you have saved on your computer vulnerable. The flaws could impact phones, PCs, and servers.

Apple on Thursday was the latest company to announce that its devices aren’t immune either. Apple said all of its computers, iPhones, and iPads are affected by the two newly discovered processor flaws.

Operating system vendors are rushing to push out patches to fix devices.

For PC users, PCWorld offered some of the following tips to protecting your computer against Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws:

  • Update your operating system
  • Check for firmware updates
  • Update your browser
  • Keep your antivirus active

Meltdown, which is considered the more severe flaw, affects “effectively every [Intel] processor since 1995,” according to Google security researchers. Google’s Project Zero team discovered that chips from Intel, ARM, and others could allow hackers to access private data from the memory on a device. That puts many computers at risk since Intel is a major supplier of chips for computers and ARM’s architecture is built into the majority of mobile processors.

Meanwhile, Apple said downloading its latest software update will fix one of the vulnerabilities. Apple says iOS 11.2, MacOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 defend against the Meltdown flaw. Apple plans to release patches for its Safari browser over the coming days to protect it against the Spectre flaw. Read more about it at Apple’s support page.

Source: “How to Protect Your PC From the Major Meltdown and Spectre CPU Flaws,” PCWorld (Jan. 4, 2018) and “Apple Says iOS Devices, Macs Affected by Processor Flaws,” CNET (Jan. 4, 2018)