What exactly are Meltdown and Spectre?
Many of the current generation of chips in our computers use what is called a cache to speed up processing. The vulnerability that has been announced in recent days is that under certain circumstances the content of this area can be read and over time passwords or encryption keys identified bit by bit by these exploits that have been named Meltdown and Spectre.
The risk to most of us is small but it does exist and the manufacturers are racing ahead to issue patches to their software to prevent them from placing such information in vulnerable areas. Unfortunately this might slow certain operations down but in the main we should see little difference
Advice from Optima is not to panic, keep your software up to date and install the latest patches unless there is a good reason not to. Most vendors are releasing updates in the next few days and some already have. Unfortunately a complete solution to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities will probably not exist until you purchase your next computer, with a chipset that doesn’t have the vulnerability built in.
If you have any concerns, please call the our office on 01293 562 700.
Further reading on the BBC.
Paul is the founder and Managing Director of Optima Systems which he set up in 1990. His role today has changed considerably since those early days and now he spends much of his time on the road talking to new potential clients and spreading the word. Paul visits the USA on a regular basis as well as travelling around the UK particularly now that Optima has moved away from primarily financial software into the realms of clinical data and medical research. More about Paul.