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How To Shield Apple, Microsoft, Google Devices From ‘Spectre’ & ‘Meltdown’ Flaws
By Yoon Sann Wong, 08 Jan 2018
Image via Stanislaw Mikulski / Shutterstock.com
On Wednesday, security researchers at Google’s ‘Project Zero’ unmasked a two-decade-old flaw that affects all Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google devices.
These vulnerabilities, dubbed ‘Spectre’ and ‘Meltdown’, involve chips made by Intel, ARM, and AMD holdings. If exploited, they could release sensitive user data. The upside is that, for now, there have been no known exploits affecting consumers.
Nevertheless, the tech giants have rolled out patches to tackle the issue. According to CNN Tech, users are recommended to “update your devices and browser software when the updates are made available.”
“Consumers who use laptops for things like email and Facebook don’t need to do much besides practice basic security hygiene -- that is, update their computer, smartphone and apps when updates are made available,” advises CNN Tech writer Selena Larson.
Things get slightly more complicated for businesses though. CNN Tech notes that security experts have expressed these patches could reduce the performance of devices, particularly for gadgets more than five years old. The bugs “matter especially to enterprises that deal with a lot of network traffic and considerable processing power -- things like cloud providers, retailers that process consumer transactions, and medical systems that crunch data.”
Intel is currently working with other chipmakers to solve the problem. “The reality is it’s going to take years before new chips are on the market that are able to bring back the functionality in a safe way,” says Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and CTO of cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike.
Watch the video below to learn more or see CNN Tech’s breakdown of patches specifically for Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Firefox.
[via CNN Tech, video via CNN Tech, main image via Stanislaw Mikulski / Shutterstock.com]
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