Meltdown And Spectre – The largest vulnerabilities in modern computers. Why ? Let’s discuss.
Meltdown and Spectre are the names given to a trio of variations on a vulnerability that affects nearly every computer chip manufactured in last 2 decades. These flaws found on the chips are so fundamental and widespread that security researchers are calling them catastrophic.
Why catastrophic ?
Let’s discuss the chipsets we are talking about. Have you heard of chipsets from Intel, AMD & ARM?. Intel, AMD & ARM are the biggest name in the computer chipset (process) manufacturing. Almost all of the modern PC, Laptops, Servers, Smart Phones and other Smart Devices are built using chipsets from these companies. This means all these devices we talked are vulnerable to these attacks.
Who reported Meltdown ?
Meltdown was independently discovered and reported by three teams:
- Jann Horn (Google Project Zero),
- Werner Haas, Thomas Prescher (Cyberus Technology),
- Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, Stefan Mangard, Michael Schwarz(Graz University of Technology)
Who reported Spectre ?
Spectre was independently discovered and reported by two people:
There is no reported attack of these vulnerabilities till date but it is always better to secure your devices before it gets compromised.
So, Let’s discuss on the prevention measures.
As the discovery of these flaws has shaken the modern computer technology world, most of the OS providers and hardware provides has released their patches.
For all devices, it is crucial to update the Operating System and Firmware to their latest version. Most of the providers has already provided their patches for meltdown and spectre. For Windows and MacOS, Update your Operating System and Firmware to latest version. For Linux Distributions, update your Kernel to latest version and there are other patches available.
Who is affected by these vulnerability?
Most possible, everyone.
Can you check your device logs and find is it has been exploited with Meltdown or Spectre?
These exploitation does not leave any traces in tranditional log files and there would be no sign of malicious activity that you would notice.
Can antivirus detect or prevent this attack?
Unlike ususal malware, Meltdown and Spectre are hard to distinguish from regular application processes. However, antivirus may detect malware which uses the atacks by comparing binaries after they become known. But for now it is only in theory that antiviruses may prevent these attacks.
What can be leaked?
Well, all the process are processed in CPU and stored in RAM this means if your system is affected it can leak your passwords and other sensitive data stored on the system.
Known abuse of Meltdown or Spectre?
No abuse has been reported yet.
For other detailed report and mechanism of these vulnerabilities, please visit the link below: