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How to secure devices from Meltdown and Spectre security exploits

Meltdown and Spectre aren’t really “bugs”. Instead, they represent methods discovered by Google’s Project Zero cybersecurity lab to take advantage of the normal ways in which Intel, ARM, and AMD processors work. To know more about Meltdown and Spectre click here. Now, everyone wants to know that how to secure devices from Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Intel, AMD and Arm believe they can fix or at least mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre flaws with software patches. Microsoft, Apple and Google have already released some of those mitigation. AMD says some of the flaws don’t affect its processors at all.

How to secure devices from Meltdown and Spectre?

Android Phones

Google has launched a new security update which includes “mitigations” to help protect your phone. Future updates will include more such fixes. Some of the high end devices including Nexus and Pixels have already started receiving the updates. Other devices will receive the update soon.

Apple iPhones and iPads

The latest iOS version 11.2 are already protected from some of the vulnerabilities that researchers discovered as of last month. Apple says that version, released on Dec. 2, included a number of mitigations, and Apple’s promising to develop more protections in future updates.

To check, go to Settings > General > Software Update to download the latest version.

Apple says the patches don’t measurably affect performance, and it’ll continue to develop more mitigations for future updates.

Windows PC

Microsoft released a security update on Wednesday to help mitigate the issue. To make sure your PC is protected, go to Settings > Update & security to check and see if the security fix is waiting in your update queue. If not, click on Update history or View installed update history to see if it was already installed.

Macs

As with iPhones and iPads, Apple says a number of mitigations for these vulnerabilities already rolled out in an update for iMacs, MacBooks, Mac Pros and the Mac Mini last month. Tap the Apple menu button in the upper-left hand corner of your screen and select About this Mac to see if you’ve got the latest version. If not, you may want to open the App Store application, click on the Update tab and update your operating system.

Others

To secure devices from Meltdown and Spectre’s web-based attack Google chrome is being updated. However Google says an experimental feature called Site Isolation can help right away. To activate it :

  • Type chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process into the URL field, then hit the Enter.
  • Go to Strict Site Isolation, then click the box labeled Enable.
  • If your work is saved, hit Relaunch Now. Otherwise, save your work, then quit and relaunch Chrome.

Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple each said they’ll update their web browsers to reduce the threat of the new attack methods.

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  1. Pingback: Meltdown and Spectre - Security exploits that gained everyone's attention

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