If you are reading this article, it means your device can be hacked. Didn't get me? Well, a few days ago some researchers revealed severe flaws in the processors of PCs, laptops and mobile phones which will affect every device using Intel chip released in the last two decades and some that have ARD and AMD chips.
The security threats are called Meltdown and Spectre. So, how dangerous can they be? If I talk in the technical language, then hackers can easily exploit your device and gain access to your passwords, encryption keys, and private information through any open application on your device.
Since the announcement of threats, every tech giant has been afraid of the consequence and the whole Information Technology field is shocked. Keep reading to know more and how can you protect your device from these CPU conditions?
Let me try to talk about this in non-technical language. When you perform any activity on your device, the data is processed with the help of chips, and for some point in time, the process is unprotected. Still, the data has some powerful prevention which does not allow any other application even to see it. But, some researchers have claimed that Meltdown and Spectre can exploit the protection.
Now the biggest question is...
Almost every single person who uses PC, laptop or mobile phone (Android or iPhone). The flaws will affect every device released in the last two decades. The threats are of the architectural level, so it doesn't matter which device you are using. According to some researchers, even cloud platforms are not safe.
The next question that arises is...
If we go by companies' statements, then there's a hope, but according to scientists and researchers, these flaws can only be solved partially and moreover the fixing will take time. I know you may be wondering about the title of the story where I said I would provide you the fixes and now I am saying it can be solved partially. Sounds contradicting? Don't worry, just keep reading.
Well, Intel released a statement in which they said, the exploits will not cause any harm to your data. The data will be safe, and it will not corrupt or get deleted without your concern. Let us now discuss what different types of device users need to do.
Windows PCs are the most vulnerable devices and are hit the hardest by Meltdown and Spectre. Microsoft has already taken the initiative as they released a security update for Windows 10 and older versions of Windows. The users with Windows 10 don't need to worry as it will automatically be installed on their devices whereas other versions users will have to install it manually.
The recent news confirmed that some PC users with AMD processor have faced issues due to the update. So, I'll advise you to wait for some more time.
Apple was the slowest company to respond, but they have confirmed that every Mac has been affected by the exploit. The statement caused some tension among the users, but the company said that they have already released a series of fixes for some versions and will be updating the users furthermore. So, if your device operates on macOS 10.13.2, then check out the update in the app store.
The users of Google-branded phones have already got an update, and Android users from other manufacturers will be getting the fix in the coming days. The latest Google phones will automatically install the updates whereas in older phones, and non-Google phone users will have to check for it in the system settings.
Keep reading if you are an iPhone user.
After responding late on the issue, Apple said that they have released an update for solving Meltdown whereas there has been no word on how Spectre will be solved in their devices. The update is released for the users of iOS 11.2. The company has also said that they will release new updates, so keep your eyes open.
If you are using any latest Chromebook then don't worry because the Chrome OS 63 version is already equipped to fight these flaws. The older version users will have to wait for the update from Google's side.
So, this is it from fixing point of view. But, did you think why are hearing about the flaws now?
Yes, the researchers were continuously going through the problems and now they've confirmed its existence and the issues it can cause. The companies somehow came to know about the flaws a few months ago and they started to work on it.
At this time, we can only hope for the best. Peace!