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Mozilla’s Project Fission brings site isolation to Firefox (Spectre and Meltdown protection)

Companies have been scrambling to offer software updates to protect against the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities since before they were disclosed to the public last year. The vulnerabilities allow an attacker to use a speculative execution side-channel attack to obtain data from your computer that shouldn’t be accessible. One thing Google did to help protect […]

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Intel: Chips with hardware protections against Meltdown and Spectre coming in 2018

Shortly after the Spectre and Meltdown chip vulnerabilities were disclosed earlier this year, Intel started releasing software updates meant to mitigate the risk. Some of those updates came out better than others, but the idea was to help protect PC and servers by making it tougher for malware to infect a system and steal data […]

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Intel releases stable Spectre patch for Skylake CPUs, updates for other chips coming soon

Intel has released a microcode update designed to help protect computers from Spectre-based attacks… again. The company says its latest microcode update patches “several Skylake-based platforms” to mitigate the risk associated with security vulnerabilities discovered earlier this year. Updates for additional chipsets should begin rolling out “in the coming days,” and beta releases are continuing […]

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Latest Windows update disables Intel’s crash-prone Spectre security patch

Most Intel processors* released in the past decade are vulnerable to the recently disclosed Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, and that’s a problem. But shortly after Intel released a microcode update to mitigate the risk, users started noticing that their computers were unexpectedly shutting off (crashing) more often than before. Intel’s solution: don’t install that […]

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Intel recommends NOT installing Spectre & Meltdown updates just yet (following reboot issues)

Shortly after the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities affecting most Intel processors were disclosed, Intel started releasing software updates intended to make PCs, servers, and other devices with its chips more secure. The software patches are sort of a mixed bag, since they’re intended to make it tougher for malicious actors to steal private data without […]

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Some older Chromebooks won’t receive Meltdown & Spectre security patches

Intel and AMD are rolling out updates to help mitigate the impact of the recently disclosed Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Microsoft is rolling out security updates for Windows. Linux distributions are rolling out updates. Apple has updates for iOS and macOS, and Google has updates for Android and Chrome OS. But those last few may […]

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Intel releases (some) Spectre & Meltdown patch benchmarks for recent chips

Earlier this week Intel had said that it expects the performance impact security updates designed to protect a computer against the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities to be minimal on devices with recent Intel processors, but more noticeable on systems with older chips. Now the company is sharing some numbers. We still don’t have any details […]

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Microsoft says its Meltdown and Spectre patches slow down older PCs more than newer ones (2016 and later)

The recently disclosed Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities are serious and there’s no good excuse for not applying all available software updates to help minimize the risk of malware stealing your personal data from your phone, tablet, or PC. But improved security comes at a cost: because the updates change the way an operating system […]

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Microsoft pauses Meltdown & Spectre security updates for AMD computers after some PCs get Blue Screen of Death

Microsoft has been rolling out software updates designed to help mitigate the security risks posed by the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. But it turns out the cure might have been worse than the disease for some users, because the update apparently caused computers with certain AMD processors to stop booting properly. Now Microsoft has stopped […]

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Meltdown mitigation updates have either very little impact on performance… or a lot, depending on the task

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities disclosed this week affect millions of PCs, servers, and mobile devices. The good news is that companies have been busy rolling out software updates that should make it less likely that someone will exploit one of these vulnerabilities to steal your personal data. Some of those patches affect your personal […]

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You know what’s not affected by Meltdown or Spectre? The Raspberry Pi

One or more of the security vulnerabilities disclosed this week affect nearly every modern smartphone, PC, and server processor. Intel processor are vulnerable to both Meltdown and Spectre attacks. AMD chips are vulnerable to Spectre attacks. And the ARM-based processors that are used in most modern smartphones can fall prey to a Spectre attack as […]

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Should you wait for Meltdown & Spectre-proof CPUs before buying a new PC or phone?

This week we learned of major security vulnerabilities affecting nearly every current PC, server, and smartphone processor on the market as well as many released in the past decade or so. The Meltdown vulnerability primarily affects Intel processors, although chips based on new ARM Cortex-A75 design are also impacted. AMD chips are considered safe from […]