Meltdown and Spectre CPU Flaws

Image Courtesy PC World

Image Courtesy PC World

Regardless of which operating system you may use your computer is at risk for attack due to issues with AMD and Intel CPU’s.  The way CPU’s process and handle encrypted information in the processor is not encrypted so your information, passwords, banking information and more are no longer secure.  This has been a known security risk that chip manufactures were aware of 8 month ago and did not disclose.   It was not disclosed because they didn’t know how to fix it.   This impacts CPU’s all the way back to 1995.    Now the fix is out so as usual, the manufacturers expect you to do the work, so get busy.

 

Windows

Windows has issued a patch which is guaranteed to slow your computer 5% or more, and as vulnerable as Windows is they are also asking you to update your web browsers and virus programs.   Here is a link for windows users to read and follow including the actual patch link. You can use Windows Update to install this patch.  If you have Windows 10 and have not set your connection to a metered mode it will be done as usual without your permission.   The same with Windows 7.   As for your virus program check with your software provider and most likely they will issue a patch.  This still does not fix issues within Windows software but I am sure the vendors will get around to it.   This is a disadvantage of running Windows.

Linux

If you use Linux – Ubuntu which is Debian based will be issuing an update on January 9th.  The good news is Linux does not think there will be any impact at all on your computer speed.  You will have to open the terminal window and use this command in Super User Mode.  Press CTL ALT T and open a session window.  Type in the following command    sudo apt-get upgrade  followed by your root password.    With that simple command Ubuntu will be good to go. All necessary files will be downloaded for all of your software including the OS.   Your computer will be 100% safe and ready to go.   Linux always updates all software on your computer with that command.  Here is the article for Ubuntu.  For those systems I do remote repairs on, I will be doing that for you so no worries.   Send me a note when your PC is on and I will dial in with Team Viewer and do the updates.

IOS, MAC and Android

Cell phone providers are in the process of pushing out updates to your IOS and Android Phones.  MacOS had an update pushed out today for MAC Computers as well as TVOS for Apple TV Units. Please check for software updates if your apple products have not already installed the update..   Apple Phones and Android Phones will have the updates pushed out by the cellular phone providers.  I can verify that because AT&T push out patches yesterday.  Apple’s should be out today or tomorrow.

Bios

Your BIOS may need a patch.  It depends on who manufactured your computer.  Go to the PC Manufacturers website and search the software updates for your PC Model.   If there is a BIOS upgrade that is required, download it and install it.  In most cases your BIOS will not need an update.

As always the hackers are out there just waiting.   Take your computer security into your own hands and fix these issues so your personal information will remain safe.