I promised I’d keep you up-to-date on what’s happening with the Meltdown/Spectre bug that effects darn near every device out there. The issue is due to a flaw in modern microchips that can allow hackers to steal sensitive information stored in the cache of those chips. Windows, Linux, and Mac computers and just about all tablets and smartphones are vulnerable to this bug.
Manufacturers have been rushing to get patches in place and here’s where the bug fixes stand right now.
Mac has issued fixes for iOS 11 for iPads and iPhones and OS X El Capitan and MacOS Sierra as well as patches for the Safari browser. Apple devices usually update automatically or give you the notice to update.
Microsoft: has issued patches for many supported devices. Issues have been reported with some PCs with AMD processors crashing and then refusing to boot up when the updates were applied. Microsoft is holding off on patches for those devices and is currently working with AMD to resolve the problem. Click here to go the support site for more information if you’re having that issue.
Patches have been issued for the 4.4 and 4.9 Linux kernel trees. But there have also been some issues with booting systems after they are applied. Patches for those running ARM64 processors will be issued in a few weeks. You’ll have to check and see what’s available for your particular flavor of Linux. Don’t understand what this all means? If you’re not using Linux, you don’t have to. If you are, go to the website for your particular flavor (Mint, Ubuntu, etc.. ) to see what’s up.
Google has already issued patches for Android devices and some Chromebooks. Patches are forthcoming for other models of Chromebook.
How big is this security flaw? It’s the biggest security flaw ever detected. It affects basically every modern processor out there and it’s unfixable. These patches are work-arounds that may slow down devices. It’s going to force a change in the way chips are designed.
What can you do? Make sure all of your devices and security software are up-to-date. Don’t install apps or programs from unknown sources and be very careful where you click.