A New Year and a new reason to worry about your cybersecurity. Researchers from the Google Project Zero have reported that all modern processors have a fundamental design flaw. The Google Project Zero broke the news about two classes of problems that can be exploited from a design flaw that affects all modern processors. The first class has been named Meltdown, this class has been fixed by recent updates, but at the cost of a significant performance drop. Processor manufactures have designed their chips for performance at the cost of security, these trade offs allow cyber criminals to gain access to your data. The second class of exploit has been named Spectre, this design flaw is deeply embedded into the chips, there is no confirmed fix as of today.
Who is it Going to Affect
These two exploits have the potential to affect every modern device. Chips from 1995 are reported to be vulnerable to attacks using the Meltdown and Spectre exploits. Personal computers can patch their cybersecurity in the background causing no inconvenience for the user, these exploits are going to be critical for cloud and industry networks. Since cloud and industry networks cannot simply update their software, these exploits pose a serious security vulnerability to these large networks. Large networks are the most vulnerable and the most profitable to exploit.
What Can You Do
Meltdown and Spectre are examples of the Industry’s giving priority to performance rather to security. The two class of exploits work on all modern processors and the only way to fix this is to update your software. Microsoft, Apple, and Linux operating system have released updates to patch your cybersecurity against the Meltdown exploit. Make sure your operating system is running on its most current security patch, this can be checked by running an update check on your device. For the Spectre exploit there is currently no fix, however the exploit is incredibly difficult to execute. If you had been slow to update your software, now is the time to change that. Considering that these updates will fix a critical security flaw that is now known to criminals, you must keep a rigorous software update schedule.