So the chips we use in our personal computers and cloud computers have some newly discovered security holes. One is called Meltdown. The other is called Spectre.
My first reaction upon hearing the news yesterday was “so what do we do about this?”
The answer is you can’t do much on your own.
For Meltdown, we need the operating system and hardware manufacturers to issue patches and firmware upgrades. I am sure they are furiously working on them.
The Verge has a good piece on what we can and should be doing about this.
Here’s the key part of that post:
- Update to the latest version of Chrome (on January 23rd) or Firefox 57 if you use either browser
- Check Windows Update and ensure KB4056892 is installed for Windows 10
- Check your PC OEM website for support information and firmware updates and apply any immediately
I expect Apple will be issuing an update shortly for their OS.
Apparently Microsoft, Google, and Amazon’s cloud services are already patched for Meltdown.
As for Spectre, apparently there are no fixes for it as of now, but it is also a lot harder to implement hacks using that one.
Finally, my partner Albert has some optimism about all of this. We should expect some good to come of this mess.