Software bugs enable exploit of sensitive data

  • Daniela Tkadlečková
  • 9.1.2018 17:44

The two recently exposed security flaws – Meltdown and Spectre – are proving to be a challenge for technology companies as they continue to allow hackers to reach sensitive data, such as passwords, in a system's memory. According to cyber security experts, the flaws affect most of the computer chips made since 1995.

While Meltdown poses a threat mainly to Intel processors, Spectre may have an effect on any modern processor - including ARM and AMD chips - dating back to the start of their production. Technology giant Intel assured that no abuse of this kind has been identified yet and has called other chipmakers as well as customers to regularly perform virus scans on their devices. Although experts agree that flaws will minimally affect home-users, the performance of server systems, for example, might be heavily impacted during the system fix. Intel, which knew about the flaws since June 2017, already faces lawsuits by many of its clients. While the technology companies expect to fix the Meltdown flaw in the upcoming days, Spectre is reported to be harder to address. The bugs will remain a potential tool of hackers or other cybercrime actors endangering global security.

About author: Daniela Tkadlečková

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