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Leonardo

Vulnerability in Intel processors

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Yep its not just Intel processors, the news over the last couple of days has been full of articles on this, the whole world is affected just about, whoever gets there first with successful exploits will potentially reap as much as they want, the software shoring up that everyone is trying to do will probably be overcome eventually aswell, especially by nation state organisations for spying / industrial espionage .. which in turn filters to everyone else too because all kinds of nefarious contacts get sold the information.

All of those Kiosk systems (the town map which scrolls a few adverts on screen) which will not be replaced for years will be easily taken over .. Although most of those are still running windows XP so they are a lost cause before this is even used.

Anything with Intel, AMD and ARM processors are vulnerable, going back years of different models. Even Apples Iphones and Tablets, and Macs are vulnerable.

I'm cursing because I have an old Iphone 5c (the one before the 5S) which has just lost support for being updated about a month ago, it will never get the IOS update to try and stop these issues - Which I think is a bit crap because Apple knew secretly about this problem at least a month before they dropped support for my model of phone. But I only use it for SMS texts and emergency calls anyway, so long as I dont download any apps I guess I will not be likely to be anyones target for exploiting .. But to think I got this phone because at the time they were the best for personal security due to apple keeping a tight lid on the OS vulnerabilities.

 

Anyway yeah its bad, what generation of processor we have to wait for before this is solved I dont know, I do know all current PCs and Laptops on the store shelves will not be getting any of my cash. Your fridge topping up the shopping online automatically when you are running out of milk may acquire new abilities, TVs and set top boxes which can spy on your living room (so called smart TVs which rush to cover up what can be done by the manufacturer when the public finds out .. waves at samsung), could now possibly be owned by anyone getting a lever inside your home network via any device, home routers and any dedicated servers worldwide .. I cant think off hand what would not be potentially taken over.

It needs something to get into your machine first, but thats proven to be not the hardest thing in the world, there is a new hacking kit with a catalogue of exploits for various operating systems just about every month I think. It only needs one to be used, and the amount of machines which are already covertly pwned by botnets will get even deeper hooks into the systems they already have at a level which nothing can do anything about. You or your anti-malware would not even be able to detect what activities your machine is being used for. And yet if crimes were performed using your machine from your IP address, you (the Broadband customer responsible for the houses connections to the net no matter which machine in the house it came from) would potentially be jailed. See your ISPs T&Cs.

 

Only good advice is if you have a machine that is valuable in the information it stores .. keep it off the net completely, disable any connections to printers and sharing services, disable any UPnP services, disable wifi (especially those easily exploited 4 number easy wifi connect setups), and dont use any USB devices. Isolate it from communicating with anything. New generation Mobile smart phones are just hopelessly a lost cause as far as security is concerned, I imagine some fools will be doing internet banking on them LOL.

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Let's be a bit more precise - AMD has insisted they are immune to the Meltdown bug, but has exposure to Spectre. It's not entirely clear whether or not one of these is worse than the other, but it's certainly true that being immune to one of them is better than being vulnerable to both.

Also, check your phones people. Mine just had a huge Android update yesterday which was likely to address this issue. Some phones will tell you, others won't and will expect you to check the system updates menu.

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2 hours ago, Leonardo said:

IIRC but didn't you choose AMD processor for your new PC last year or was it 2016?

Yes, I've been using AMD ever since the old 386 days. All it means is that I'm not going to be susceptible to the Meltdown bug and that when Microsoft issues the patches on Windows 10 I won't be bitten by the performance loss that fixing Meltdown will cause.

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Lucky you, I guess.  Me on other the hand are using Intel and have done that for the last 10-15 years or so.

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It's a fascinating bug, though it's difficult to actually implement it.  They're definitely some of the biggest hardware/firmware bugs found to date though.  Pretty crazy.

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