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Key details of the huge processor problem [Fixes are here — CPU flaw

06 Enero 2018, 06:13 | Fidele Alvizo

Key details of the huge processor problem [Fixes are here — CPU flaw

A laptop that uses Intel's sixth-generation Core chip known as Skylake at the Intel booth during CES International in Las Vegas in January 2016

Should my IT department freak out?

Intel is at the center of the problem because it supplies the processors used in many of the world's PCs.

After chip-maker Intel confirmed a potential security flaw in its chips, Microsoft on Thursday issued emergency updates to supported versions of Windows.

Intel says that the actual performance hit by the fixes will be "workload dependent", meaning it will vary depending on the type of apps you're running on your computer.

Should my son or daughter be aware?

You also don't need to stress about Gmail or G Suite.

The firmware updates and software patches could cause some systems to run slower. It seems unlikely that manufacturers will ship replacements for the millions of machines affected.

A user's computer's CPU operates in two modes: kernel mode and user mode.

Microchips are the basic electronic systems behind many devices such as computers and mobile phones.

In a blog post responding to the research, Intel said the flaws described had "the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed", but that the company "believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data".

These supposedly inaccessible tables contained references to physical memory. The name "Spectre" for the second flaw came from the fact that there is no easy fix, which means it will likely "haunt us for quite some time".

A fix is not yet delivered for all computers with Intel inside. Here's what we know so far.

Today, we're learning more about what exactly is going on, and that there are not one, but actually two vulnerabilities that have been disclosed.

Both Intel and Google said they were planning to disclose the issue next week when fixes will be available.

The fix will change the way the program attains memory for its processes. Some anti-virus vendors will also need to update their software to work correctly with the new patches, as the changes are related to Kernel-level access. The paper also goes on to confirm that Meltdown is limited to Intel processors. And this time, it's a big one. Unfortunately, this involves reducing the overall performance of the operating system.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A second vulnerability, dubbed Spectre, also affects AMD and ARM computer chips, and could allow hackers to steal data from the computer's memory that is normally kept in isolation. The reasons for this can be manifold.

"We used our VM Live Migration technology to perform the updates with no user impact, no forced maintenance windows and no required restarts", Sloss added. Have a peek are our full statements article for the whole bunch. Intel CPUs are particularly affected since the Meltdown vulnerability is apparently specific to them. However, owners of Google Chrome OS and Android devices are advised to take necessary actions.

Exploiting vendor trust and disrupting the supply chain are tactics malicious actors are sure to capitalize on in 2018.

According to AppleInsider, "multiple sources within Apple" have said that updates made in macOS 10.13.2 have mitigated "most" security concerns associated with the CPU vulnerability.

According to The Verge, the Windows update for this issue will be released at 5PM Eastern Time, 4PM Central Time, 2PM Pacific.

Public cloud providers AWS and Microsoft have scheduled reboots to address the problem over the course of the next few days.



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