Intel details rollout of Meltdown and Spectre security updates

Apple Stock Brushes Off Spectre, Meltdown Risks

However, since nearly all of the devices in the world rely on microprocessor architectures designed by either Intel, AMD or ARM, it goes by default that all kinds of devices are affected by the security flaw. You'd better get used to it, because Spectre and Meltdown are deep problems that aren't easily patched.

The flaws, known by the names Spectre and Meltdown, aren't unique to one particular chipmaker or device. One of the bugs which is rooted in Intel processors that purportedly allows miscreants to access device kernel memory data, a potential threat that once exploited can easily disclose passwords and other important credentials. Experts say it could mean processors require a complete redesign.

Probably, yes. But you should not panic as we are not aware of any exploits. Google said in a blog post that Android phones running the latest security updates are protected, as are its own Nexus and Pixel phones with the latest security updates.

System updates are made available by system manufacturers, operating system providers and others.

It should be noted that while both Intel and AMD can both be affected by the security flaw, the former holds more shares in the market, meaning there are a lot more Intel users than there are AMD, hence the bigger impact on the bigger chip manufacturer. This general goal technique is already live on the "entire fleet of Google Linux production servers that support all of our products, including Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Cloud Platform".

While the revealations claimed that the security bug is affecting the devices with processors from AMD as well. However, AMD has responded, saying that there is a "near zero risk to AMD processors at this time".

Make sure your device is up-to-date and officially supported.

Despite the patching, the security researchers say the Spectre security flaw, although harder to exploit, is also more difficult to fully patch.

1. Update your Windows PC

Microsoft, Apple and Google have addressed the critical security bug with the December or January Update.

Intel said fixes for security issues in its microchips would not slow down computers, rebuffing concerns that the flaws found in microprocessors would significantly reduce performance.

To counter it, Google developed a binary modification technique called Retpoline that protects against the second variant (named Spectre) of the attack.

According to a new report fromMacRumors, Apple's fix came out at the beginning of December with the release of macOS 10.13.2.

However, Apple has not published any information on the security fixes for its computers and smartphones to date.

Will the patch for Meltdown and Spectre slowdown my device?

"Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant", it said. The platforms such as Microsoft's Azure and Amazon EC2 will be mostly affected.

Third-party benchmarking of the performance hits on affected machines ranged from 5-30 percent depending on the specific processor, OS, and task. Windows 7 and Windows 8, on the other hand, will not receive the automatic update; instead, they will be updated next Tuesday, the report added. It's a part of the Software Engineering Institute, which is itself a non-profit that's largely funded by grants from the US Department of Defence.

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