Dan Grytsku/123RF

No, Your Device Wasn’t Spared from Meltdown or Spectre Flaws

  • 6 January 2018
  • Sam Mire

It’s always comforting to read that the technologies that have become an indelible part of daily life have been hacked or compromised…again. For the layman, and even the techie, it’s getting difficult to keep up with all the ‘bugs’, ‘leaks’, ‘hacks’, and ‘vulnerabilities’ in devices that we’d expect to be, quite simply, invulnerable.

After all, it seems that time after time, a ‘patch’ or ‘fix’ for the hacker’s flavor of the week is released almost immediately, but never before eons of devices have already been deemed ‘compromised’. For many, the news is now met with a roll of the eyes, an unspoken ‘again?’, and a weary check of the credit score and bank account. Perhaps, a few changed passwords might even be called for. But for most, even that seems like too much effort to be worth it. After all, it’s just our most sensitive information being compromised, right Intel?

Exactly right.

The latest flaws come with creatively menacing logos. It’s almost like developers are mocking us for becoming so dependent and trusting in our own devices at this point. But the latest major compromises, perhaps the most widespread to date, are no laughing matter. These massive security loopholes were not physical but not software based. I know what you’re thinking, what the heck were they, then? I’ll do my best to explain.

Even the explanations are riddled with contradictions. The issue, in this case, lies in the Intel processors, specifically the ‘most central software unit’ where information passes through unencrypted, completely raw. According to TechCrunch, the data ‘has powerful protections to prevent it from being interfered with or even observed by other processes and applications.’

Except, apparently, they’re not that powerful. In fact, they were completely breached, in all devices. Introducing: Meltdown and Spectre, the latest attack on your devices’ most sensitive data. Information violated may include: ‘passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.’

But hey, there’s a patch, no worries!

On a lighter note, not even Mac users were protected. Sorry, but there is no lighter note.

Now, to change passwords or not to change passwords, that’s the question….

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.