Business Tech Blog: Spectre & Meltdown

Fri, Jan, 05, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

Summary

You may have seen in the news recently that a major vulnerability has been discovered in several computer processor manufacturer’s chipsets.

The “Meltdown” and “Spectre” vulnerabilities that Google reported earlier this week are due to a flaw in Intel, AMD, and ARM processors that allows applications to access memory normally reserved for the operating system. This risk is that malicious applications could potentially access passwords or other sensitive data within the operating system during processing.

Intel, Microsoft, and other vendors are currently working on patches to address the vulnerabilities. There have been claims that these patches will dramatically impact overall computer performance. However, these performance issues should be limited and should only impact specific applications. In addition, we expect that application vendors will be releasing updates to address any associated impact. Sagiss will be closely monitoring and testing these patches to ensure they can be deployed as quickly and safely as possible.

While this is a major issue, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, there are currently no reported attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities. Second, while there is potential risk for workstations, we believe that this risk should be minimal with the primary targets being large cloud hosting providers. Finally, these vulnerabilities can only be exploited by a malicious application running on the affected machine. (They cannot be exploited remotely.) The malicious applications could come from a variety of sources, including emails, links, websites, downloads, etc. As always, we encourage users to exercise caution when browsing the internet and opening unknown emails and files.

 

The following article gives some more information: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/01/meltdown-and-spectre-every-modern-processor-has-unfixable-security-flaws/ 

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your Sagiss Account Manager.


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