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Everything You Need to Know About the Spectre + Meltdown Vulnerabilities

Two recently discovered vulnerabilities, dubbed Spectre and Meltdown, are not the James Bond villains their names suggest. But they are very serious vulnerabilities that organizations should address ASAP.

Two huge vulnerabilities were discovered this week in several common processors—vulnerabilities that can place sensitive system data at risk of exposure to attackers.

Called Specrtre and Meltdown, these vulnerabilities are not the James Bond movies they sound like. But they are pretty sly. They’ve been found in Intel, Apple, and Microsoft chips, and could allow cybercriminals to steal sensitive data.

What does that mean?

It means that if cybercriminals can find a way into your laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone, or even cloud computing system, your data could be easily stolen—which could impact performance, user experience, and, of course, your security.

Meltdown is a security flaw that could allow hackers to bypass the hardware barrier between applications, whereas Spectre could allow hackers to trick your applications into sharing your secret information. These flaws have existed in processors for 20 years, but now that the news is out there, it’s all in due time that hackers will start taking advantage. Bad stuff. Real bad stuff.

What can I do to stay secure?

Keep all your software up-to-date, including your web browsers. These updates most likely contain the latest fixes to patch these vulnerabilities. If you’re a Steel Root customer, contact us. ESET, the AV solution we use, is Microsoft-approved, which means you’ll be able to get the Microsoft patches ASAP.

And beware of cyberattacks like phishing, which are easy ways into your computer for hackers to expose Spectre and Meltdown and steal your data.

Once you’ve done all that, order a martini. Shaken, not stirred.

Run along now.