Technology giants are rushing to push put patches for two critical hardware vulnerabilities that affect almost every PC, as well as some mobile devices. Called Meltdown and Spectre, the bugs could potentially enable hackers to access all of the data on your device’s memory, including your passwords, emails, photos, documents and anything else.
Intel was the first company to admit the bugs could impact its CPU chips, and later AMD and other chipmakers followed suit. Google and most recently Apple have also both said their devices aren’t immune to the flaw either. In Apple’s case, the company admitted that all of its PCs, iPhones and iPads could be at risk.
Intel, Microsoft, Google, Apple and others have all rushed to put out patches to fix the flaw, but users will need to ensure their devices are updated to stay safe.
PCWorld offers the following tips to secure your computer against the bug.
The bug known as Meltdown is said to affect “every [Intel] processor since 1995,” according to Google security researchers. The bug was reportedly discovered by Google’s Project Zero research team, which found that chips built by Intel, ARM, and other companies could allow hackers to access private data from the memory on a device. That puts many computers at risk since Intel is a major supplier of chips for computers and ARM’s architecture is built into the majority of mobile processors.
Windows and Linux users should receive their patches automatically via updates, while Apple says users can download its latest update to fix Meltdown. It said says iOS 11.2, MacOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 defend against the Meltdown flaw. The company also plans to release patches for its Safari browser over the coming days to protect it against the Spectre flaw.