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© iakovlev dreamstime.com Components | January 04, 2018

Security puts your device at risk

Google’s Project Zero team says it has discovered a set of security flaws that could allow hackers to get their hands on sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device with chips from Intel, AMD and ARM.
One of the issues is said to be specific to Intel but another pretty much every computing device – laptops, desktops, servers, smartphones and tablets alike.

The Project Zero team has published a blogpost detailing the issues. The first issue – called Meltdown – basically allows someone to bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer’s memory, which could open up vulnerabilities allowing hackers to read the memory and steal passwords. The second one, which is called Spectre, allows hackers to trick applications to leak information via a side channel.

In an interview with Reuters, Daniel Gruss, one of the researchers at Graz University of Technology (who also discovered Meltdown) called it “probably one of the worst CPU bugs ever found”.

Intel has responded to the findings in an official statement where the company says that its is; “committed to product and customer security and is working closely with many other technology companies, including AMD, ARM Holdings and several operating system vendors, to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve this issue promptly and constructively. Intel has begun providing software and firmware updates to mitigate these exploits. “

The company also says that it believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.

According to Gruss the more serious problem is ‘Meltdown’, at least in the short term. However, it can be stopped with software patches. Spectre on the other hand – which applies to nearly all computing devices – is harder to exploit but also less easily patched and will probably be a bigger problem long term, the Reuters report continues.

In its statement, Intel denies that any of these issues are unique to Intel products.

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June 25 2018 9:38 am V9.6.1-1