There have been announcements regarding vulnerabilities in processors from Intel, AMD and ARM in relation to allowing cybercriminals to access data from your computer that is currently being processed on the chip. This may include your personal information, such as passwords, documents or photos.
Known as “Meltdown” and “Spectre”, these vulnerabilities have been found to affect nearly all modern computer processors on both Windows and Apple computers and can only be mitigated through updates to your operating system. In order for your computer to be protected, it is important to ensure you install the necessary updates for your internet security software and then the required Windows updates.
A second issue has since been identified regarding Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT). The vulnerability also may allow access to security controls to be bypassed if someone was able to physically access a device using AMT. If AMT is installed on your computer, then we suggest uninstalling this or changing the default “admin” password.
As always, the best defence is to ensure your computer’s operating system is up-to-date, as well as your internet security software, applications, browsers, plugins and add-ons.
If you have purchased new computer hardware or software over Christmas, we would also suggest checking that these are up-to-date, and making sure updates are installed.
Please feel free to contact us if you need any help or assistance with Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities or further advice how you can protect your computers.