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These bugs, named ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ could potentially allow a hacker to steal passwords, encryption keys or other sensitive information.
What’s a chip?
Microchips are the basic electronic systems inside almost every electrical device, including your computer, mobile phone and tablet.
These chips move data around, temporarily storing it using different types of memory.
This information is supposed to be secure, but Spectre and Meltdown mean that a hacker could in fact gain access.
These issues have been found to affect chips made by Intel, AMD and ARM.
Most chips are created by Intel. They provide around 80% of chips in desktop computers and around 90% of chips in laptops. So it is likely that your computer will be affected and will need to be updated.
What are they doing about it?
The vulnerabilities have been known to the major tech companies for a while. They kept quiet in the hope that they could fix the issue before it became public knowledge and invited hackers to attempt to exploit the bug.
Most companies have rushed to release security patches to help protect their customers against the issues. Microsoft have released a patch on Thursday 4th January to fix the issue, while Apple say that their latest patch has also rectified the vulnerability, but are working to resolve the issue on older Operating Systems.
Google, who discovered the issue last year have also worked to resolve the issue for users of their Chrome web browser and Chromebook users.
So should I be worried?
In order for a hacker to exploit the flaw, they would need to install some malicious code on your device, so it is important that you remain vigilant and don’t click on any suspicious links.
Ensure that you install the latest security patches on all of your devices and you should be protected, however, in the rush to release these patches following the bugs being made public, some are experiencing problems with their computers slowing down or not working altogether.
So get in touch with your IT company and ensure that your computers are fully up to date and that your data is safe.
To find out about how we can manage your IT and help you avoid these issues, call us now on 020 8804 1022.