Google has great news about fixing the Meltdown and Spectre chip flaws

On Thursday, Apple confirmed that all Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but that no known exploits have affected its customers.

Benchmarks do seem to show that there is a slowdown following the installation of a patch, but Intel is correct in saying that this is dependent on the type of task that's being performed.

Don't panic. Here's what you should do. Meltdown appears to affect only Intel chips.

The scramble to harden a broad array of devices comes after researchers found two significant vulnerabilities within modern computing hardware, one of which cannot be fully resolved as of yet. AMD chips are also common in PCs, while ARM chips are found in many smartphones and other internet-connected products, including cars and home appliances.

The two vulnerabilities, "Spectre" and "Meltdown", could even allow an attacker to steal passwords as a user typed them.

"Patches against Meltdown have been issued for Linux, Windows and OS X, and work is underway to strengthen software against future exploitation of Spectre".

Fixes: Released for Android, Google Cloud, and pending for Chrome.

Shipley said that unlike software vulnerabilities, the physical flaws will continue to be a problem for years to come.

Urging every user to apply available security patches immediately, Mr Stree Naidu, the Asia-Pacific vice-president of cyber security services firm Cato Networks, said: "Not patching the vulnerability not only puts the data in the chip memory at risk, but also provides an entry point to critical servers and the entire corporate network". The chipmaker said it would require users to download a patch and update their operating system to fix the issue. Microsoft and Alphabet Inc's Google both said in statements on their websites that they expect few performance problems for most of their cloud computing customers.

So that's the bad news, but there's also some good news in this story. "Imagine running at those speeds now". The flaws date back as far as 1995.

"Right now it's kind of tricky to take advantage of it", Daly said. As tech website Cyberscoop reports, some computer security companies are scrambling to reconfigure their software so it works with Microsoft's update. The flaw allows hackers to take info from programs that shouldn't be visible outside that program.

Consumers can mitigate the underlying vulnerability by making sure they patch up their operating systems with the latest software upgrades. The number is something of a moving target.

"If somebody finds an ingenious method by which [attacks] can be made more generic, less cumbersome to mount. then we have real problems".

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