Your Phones, Computers At Risk Over Security Flaws
It is a time to keep an eye on your phones and computers while protecting your password as much as you can.
This is because security researchers have revealed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device.
The stealing of information is possible if your device is containing chips from Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings.
One of the bugs is specific to Intel but another affects laptops, desktop computers, smart phones, tablets and internet servers.
Intel and ARM insisted that the issue was not a design flaw, but it will require users to download a patch and update their operating system to fix.
So, you just have to watch out for OS update alerts and do the needful to keep your device safe.
“Phones, PCs, everything are going to have some impact, but it’ll vary from product to product,” Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, said in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday afternoon.
Researchers with Alphabet Inc’s Google Project Zero, in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries, discovered two flaws.
The first, called Meltdown, affects Intel chips and lets hackers bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer’s memory, potentially letting hackers read a computer’s memory and steal passwords.
The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information.
The researchers said Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp had patches ready for users for desktop computers affected by Meltdown.
Microsoft declined to comment and Apple did not immediately return requests for comment.
Daniel Gruss, one of the researchers at Graz University of Technology who discovered Meltdown, called it “probably one of the worst CPU bugs ever found” in an interview with Reuters.
Gruss said Meltdown was the more serious problem in the short term but could be decisively stopped with software patches.
Spectre, the broader bug that applies to nearly all computing devices, is harder for hackers to take advantage of but less easily patched and will be a bigger problem in the long term, he said.