Meltdown and Spectre!

There’s quite a bit of internet hysteria on these two recently discovered flaws in computer chip design. I wanted to pass on a little “common sense” information and advice, since these are pretty complicated.

First of all, most potential computer security weaknesses (referred to as “exploits”) are revealed after computers are hacked – i.e., someone exploits these flaws and causes some damage, and then software or hardware makers scramble to fix them after the damage has been done.

Spectre and Meltdown are not like that. Noone has yet exploited these flaws (that we know of). For this reason I call them “theoretical” exploits. Not that there isn’t a threat — but it is very difficult to exploit either of these, and they were discovered by people looking closely (um, maybe more closely) at computer CPU core design.

Essentially, every modern CPU has these flaws, but everyone is working on a fix for them. In fact, your computer may already be fixed. Just make sure you are current with your updates and OS versions – which is always good advice.

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