Rumored Meltdown and Spectre Microprocessor Bugs

Intel has finally commented on rumored Meltdown and Spectre microprocessor bugs that could be used to compromise laptops, PCs, smartphones, tablets and public cloud servers. Multiple hardware and software companies are writing patches to mitigate the hardware issues.

“For MSSPs, MSPs and IT service providers, the next few days could involve intense patch management initiatives to safeguard mobile, on-premises and cloud-based customer systems.

According to Reuters, two major bugs require attention:

“The first, called Meltdown, affects Intel chips and lets hackers bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer’s memory, potentially letting hackers read a computer’s memory and steal passwords. The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information.”

Researchers with Alphabet’s Google Project Zero, in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries, discovered the two flaws, Reuters says. You can read Google’s full reports on Meltdown and Spectre here.

Chatter about the issues surfaced January 2 on The Register — though Intel denied a portion of that report involving patch-related performance degradation. That same day, The 2112 Group CEO Larry Walsh, a well-known channel advisor, raised a timely caution flag — before the news spilled into the mainstream media today. Walsh warned that the bug reports were indeed a big deal for technology companies, partners and IT professionals who maintain systems for end-customers.” …

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