What You Need to Know About 2 Major Computer Flaws That May Be

  • by KYLE FITZPATRICK First Published: January 4, 2018. If there's one thing you hope your computer can do, it's protect your information in a secure, thoughtful way. Unfortunately, a major discovery by technology experts identified new security flaws in nearly all computer processors that make everything from mobile to cloud information vulnerable to hacking. The two flaws — called Meltdown and Spectre — have enabled hackers to steal sensitive information from computer memory via infected software downloaded to one's device for decades. Meltdown affects computer processing tied to nearly all microprocessors made by Intel and is most notably a problem for cloud networks used by providers like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Updates and patches to fix Meltdown are being rolled out and will likely slow systems. Spectre is a more severe matter and has no easy fix because it relates to the physical design of processors that cannot be easily patched with software. A solution for Spectre likely doesn't exist as it's presumed that a new processor will have to be created to replace the problematic chips. The small positive here is that Spectre is more difficult to exploit. Still, patches and workarounds for the problem will become available until new processors are created.