Meltdown And Spectre: Chip Vulnerabilities in Most Modern Processors - TeknoGadyet
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Meltdown And Spectre: Chip Vulnerabilities in Most Modern Processors

Recently, it is found out that most modern processors are vulnerable to two new exploits. These exploits allows hackers to access your computer's memory,

Meltdown And Spectre: Chip Vulnerabilities in Most Modern Processors
Meltdown And Spectre: Chip Vulnerabilities in Most Modern Processors

Dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, these can give attackers to access your computer's memory and get sensitive information off of it. The only way to protect yourself from them via is through operating system security patches. Between the two Meltdown is the more powerful one as it can affect not only physical computers but virtual machines as well.

Also Read: Symantec Links Longhorn to Vault 7 Leak

Passwords, PINs and other sensitive private information. However, attackers would still need to do a prerequisite step to plant the exploit. It can be done by either running a malicious software on the computer, JavaScripts that can trigger an exploit to run the native code or by running JavaScript to map the Kernel. These can all be blocked by security products such as Symantec's.

Meltdown exploits a flaw in out-of-order execution, which a feature found in most modern processors. According Symantec's research processors from 1995 onwards except pre-2013 Intel Itanium and Atom processors can be attacked. ARM and AMD processors are yet to be determined for vulnerabilities as well.

Once successfully planted, Meltdown can get a copy of the computer's entire kernel address space. That includes any data stored in the memory at the time of the attack. It can be used to attack any OS in both individual computers and any computer running cloud services. One attack on a server computer can lead to attacks to virtual machines connected to it.

Spectre, on the other hand, can result in the same outcome, but has a slightly different way of doing it. It tricks an application into leaking information stored in memory which is a big flaw in processor design. Unlike Meltdown, it is confirmed that all modern processors from Intel, AMD and ARM are all vulnerable to Spectre.

The first thing you need to do to protect yourself from any attack from both Meltdown and Spectre is to update your OS to the latest security patch available. Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux have already received their patches for Meltdown. However, Spectre is proven to be harder to fight, but is equally harder to exploit. Work is already being done to completely protect users from both exploits.

For more info, please visit https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/meltdown-spectre-cpu-bugs and https://spectreattack.com/

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