• ‘Meltdown and Spectre’ bug could require every computer to be redesigned

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    Issues in the CPU hardware – dubbed Meltdown and Spectre – could force a redesign of the software at the heart of all major operating systems.

    Windows, Linux, Android, Macs, Chromebooks and other operating systems all need the CPU hardware to run effectively, and it looks like a ‘quick fix’ of the system will negatively affect your PC’s performance.

    The flaw could allow hackers access into the sensitive parts of a computer and the information contained within it, including passwords, cryptographic keys, personal photos, emails and other data stored on your computer.

    Meltdown issues can be fixed relatively quickly, although the patch can slow systems down by as much as 30%.

    Spectre issues are much more complicated as issues arise in the fundamental foundations of the chip itself, meaning the issue won’t be fixed until computers are redesigned completely.

    The Spectre bug affects almost every computer manufactured in the last 20 years, including phones and other devices such as laptops and tablets. it is thought that a remedy could take years to resolve.

    So far, no malicious exploit has been reported, with experts keeping precise details of the issues secret in a bid to keep hackers at bay. Patches have already been released to try and solve initial problems in most consumer systems.

    In a statement from Intel advice was to: “Check with your operating system vendor or system manufacturer and apply any available updates as soon as they are available.”

    The company added: ”Following good security practices that protect against malware in general will also help protect against possible exploitation until updates can be applied.

    “Intel believes its products are the most secure in the world and that, with the support of its partners, the current solutions to this issue provide the best possible security for its customers.”

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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