Posted Fri Jan 5, 2018 at 01:25 PM PST by Steven Cohen
Two big CPU security flaws have been discovered.
Researchers have recently come across two potentially devastating hardware flaws built into many modern CPUs used in PCs and Apple devices. Dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, the two widespread CPU bugs could lead to exploits that would put a user's data at risk.
According to a recent support document released by Apple, both bugs rely on "speculative execution," which is a CPU performance feature found on many modern processors. The feature works by allowing a CPU to predict and start executing code before it knows for sure whether or not that path is correct. If the prediction ends up being wrong, the execution is then rolled back in a way that is supposed to be invisible to software. Unfortunately, the Meltdown and Spectre bugs could take advantage of this process to enable a malicious app to access privileged memory. In other words, worst case scenario, the flaws could lead to the theft of personal data from other programs on your system like passwords, emails, photos, and other documents.
Users who want more information about what hardware is affected by these flaws and what steps can be taken to help secure their systems, can head over to Meltdownattack.com for more detailed information.
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