Millions of Windows systems have reportedly been hit with these bugs. 
Millions of Windows systems have reportedly been hit with these bugs. (Photo: The Quint/@2shar)
  • 1. Everything About Meltdown
  • 2. Everything About Spectre
  • 3. Who's Fixing the Issue for Users?
  • 4. How Can Users Protect Their PCs
FAQ: What Are Meltdown and Spectre Bugs and How Do They Affect PCs

The dawn of 2018 has come with a rude shock for PC users, with two hardware bugs named ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ grabbing headlines this week, affecting a horde of desktop, mobile and even cloud users.

Experts have stated that the exploits are hard to detect as they do not leave traces of log files. Patches to fix Meltdown have been released by Intel, Microsoft, Google, and even Apple.

So, how do these bugs affect your system and what risk do they carry for users? Here’s a low-down on both the hardware bugs.

“Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware bugs allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer.”  – as highlighted on Meltdown Attack.

  • 1. Everything About Meltdown

    The Meltdown bug basically melts security boundaries, which are normally enforced by the hardware.
    Millions of Windows systems have reportedly been hit with these bugs. 
    (Photo: The Quint/Canva)

    According to researchers who discovered the bug, every Intel processor since 1995 has been affected by this.

    Having said that, systems running ARM and AMD processors aren’t off the hook just yet, and early signs do not look promising at all.

    According to Symantec, Meltdown exploiting cloud services is potentially the most worrying factor.

    Cloud services affected by Meltdown can be exploited on a virtual machine in order to access memory from the host machine.
    Symantec

    Apparently, this could let attackers buy space on a vulnerable cloud service and use it to stage an attack against other customers using the same host, leading to serious consequences for both the parties involved.

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