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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:23 pm 
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6 months ago someone (a Google department?) discovered a really fundamental and nasty vulnerability in the way most processor chips work. It didn't get big play until a few days ago, because they wanted everyone ready for it before the world knew.

I got my OS update for this machine about 10 minutes ago. MickeySoft usually pushes out the monthly security patches on the second Tuesday. It's early, as they said it would be. Get it.

The particular OS is less relevant than usual, because the problem is on-chip. As best I understand from the deliberately vague details, it exploits the processor cache or something like it. This is supposed to speed up processing by remembering recent instructions. It's supposed to be off limits to reading/writing by software, but...... you know the rest.

The two exploits we know about are called SPECTRE and Meltdown. One is easier to stop than the other one. I forgot which is which.

The fix does slow processing down, though the 30% figure is a hypothetical extreme. 5% is more typical. As one guy said, you might not notice 5%, but server farms certainly will.

Chips affected are everything made by Intel, most or all AMD, and a couple of others. This includes smartphones and tablets. EVERYTHING needs to be patched. OS, browsers, and a bunch of other stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:23 pm 
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6 months ago someone (a Google department?) discovered a really fundamental and nasty vulnerability in the way most processor chips work. It didn't get big play until a few days ago, because they wanted everyone ready for it before the world knew.

I got my OS update for this machine about 10 minutes ago. MickeySoft usually pushes out the monthly security patches on the second Tuesday. It's early, as they said it would be. Get it.

The particular OS is less relevant than usual, because the problem is on-chip. As best I understand from the deliberately vague details, it exploits the processor cache or something like it. This is supposed to speed up processing by remembering recent instructions. It's supposed to be off limits to reading/writing by software, but...... you know the rest.

The two exploits we know about are called SPECTRE and Meltdown. One is easier to stop than the other one. I forgot which is which.

The fix does slow processing down, though the 30% figure is a hypothetical extreme. 5% is more typical. As one guy said, you might not notice 5%, but server farms certainly will.

Chips affected are everything made by Intel, most or all AMD, and a couple of others. This includes smartphones and tablets. EVERYTHING needs to be patched. OS, browsers, and a bunch of other stuff.

The problem is with Intel Chips. AMD chips are not affected. If you're using Windows 10 you can check to see which chip you have. In the search bar type "System Information" and then you can select "About your System" or "System."

As you said, fixes are on the way but computers may run 30% slower. Here's a good article from Kim Komando on this.
Quote:
Heads up! If you own a computer or laptop with an Intel chip, there's a good chance it will get a significant performance hit, up 5 to 30 percent slower, in the next few weeks. And the worse part is this - there's nothing you can do about it.

Why? Well, a critical design flaw was discovered in Intel processing chips that could let attackers gain access to protected kernel memory areas and steal sensitive information like passwords, login data, security keys and files that are still cached on your computer's disk. A critical fix is on its way but it has an unfortunate side effect.

According to "The Register," the flaw is so fundamental to how Intel chips work that it forced a major redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels. In effect, the redesign has the unfortunate side effect of slowing down the processors themselves.

Intel is understandably keeping mum about the details of the flaw and has neglected to release a list of the affected chips until the updates are issued. However, if you have a computer running an Intel chip that was manufactured over the past 10 years, chances are, you will receive this patch.

Kim Komando

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:35 pm 
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There are two flaws in the chips. The first is Meltdown and that is the one involving involving Intel chips. Although a fix is coming the fix could slow down computers by 30%.

The second flaw is called Spectre (sounds like a James Bond foe) and is more serious in that it'll affect not only computers but smartphones and tablets. It's not just Intel chip that are affected by chips by ARM and AMD as well. Spectre affects how the processor works and a software patch may not work. The good news is Spectre is harder to exploit than Meltdown.

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This flaw is now officially known as Meltdown and it is reported to affect Intel chips made within the last decade.

There is a fix coming very soon, but there is one really bad side effect. It will slow your computer down by up to 30 percent and there is nothing you can do about it. This will hurt a lot of people and businesses.

First, unlike Meltdown, which reportedly only affects Intel chips, the Spectre bug can impact chips from every major manufacturer - ARM, AMD, and Intel. This puts almost every computer, smartphone and tablet at risk of Spectre attacks.

Secondly, while Meltdown can be addressed with software patches, Spectre appears to be a fundamental flaw in how processors work and a software patch may not be able to fix it.

Kim Kommando


I have a funny feeling we'll be seeing a commercial on TV from a lawyer urging us to join in a lawsuit against the chip and computer makers.

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