The new year has kicked off with two new IT Security vulnerabilities being identified called “Meltdown” & “Spectre”. These vulnerabilities exploit critical issues in modern computer processors.
These hardware vulnerabilities allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities to get hold of information stored in the memory of other running programs.
Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities work on personal computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud.
Whilst there has not been a reported exploit by malware against this vulnerability, now that it is public, there is potential that hackers will attempt to attack it.
Most large software vendors have released patches to mitigate this vulnerability and there are some simple steps individuals and practices can take to ensure their information, and that of clients or patients is secure.
- Security Patches are now available for most major platforms
- Apply software security updates as soon as possible
To reduce the risk of malicious exploits, you should be wary of unsolicited emails, and to be cautious to not open attachments from senders you do not recognise.