Shell Energy Entrepreneurs banner Yudala banner
Security flaws put billions of smartphones and computers at risk

By Selena Larson on 04/01/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 578


Two major flaws in computer chips could leave a huge number of computers and smartphones vulnerable to security concerns, researchers revealed Wednesday.

The flaws could allow an attacker to read sensitive data stored in the memory, like passwords, or look at what tabs someone has open on their computer, researchers found. Daniel Gruss, a researcher from Graz University of Technology who helped identify the flaw, said it may be difficult to execute an attack, but billions of devices were impacted.

Called Meltdown and Spectre, the flaws exist in processors, a building block of computers that acts as the brain. Modern processors are designed to perform something called “speculative execution.” That means they predict what tasks they will be asked to execute and rapidly access multiple areas of memory at the same time.

That data is supposed to be protected and isolated, but researchers discovered that in some cases, the information can be exposed while the processor queues it up.

Researchers say almost every computing system – desktops, laptops, smartphones, and cloud servers – are affected by the Spectre bug. Meltdown appears to be specific to Intel (INTC) chips.

“More specifically, all modern processors capable of keeping many instructions in flight are potentially vulnerable. In particular, we have verified Spectre on Intel, AMD, and ARM processors,” the researchers said.

Government agencies issued statements warning users about the vulnerabilities.

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team said that while the flaws “could allow an attacker to obtain access to sensitive information,” it’s not so far aware of anyone doing so.

The agency urged people to read its detailed statement on the vulnerabilities, as well as those from Microsoft and Mozilla.

The U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center advised organisations and individuals to “continue to protect their systems from threats by installing patches as soon as they become available.”

Google (GOOGL) programmer Jann Horn of Project Zero was one of the researchers who discovered the flaws. In a blog post he said his group alerted chipmakers to the issues in June. Since last fall, security researchers and companies have investigated and updated software systems to address the bugs.

Intel chips are found in everything from personal computers to medical equipment. The company’s shares were down 3% on Wednesday.

The company said in a press release that “Many types of computing devices — with many different vendors’ processors and operating systems — are susceptible to these exploits.”

Intel said it is working with other chipmakers including AMD (AMD) and ARM Holdings to solve the issue. ARM said in a statement a small subset of its processors are susceptible to the flaws. AMD said in a statement there is a “near zero risk of exploitation” for one of the security issues, due to architecture differences.

A fix requires both the chip manufacturers and software makers to update their products before pushing it out.

Estimates posted on Linux message boards suggested computer performance could slow down between 5% and 30% once patched, however Intel said users will not see significant performance changes.

Tech website The Register was first to report the processor flaws on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Microsoft (MSFT) told CNNMoney the company is aware of the issue and is in the process of deploying mitigations to cloud services and has released security updates to protect Windows users.

Google Cloud Platform has been updated to prevent the vulnerabilities, the company said.

Amazon (AMZN) said in a statement most of its cloud computing machines affected by the flaw are already protected, but it is updating the rest on Wednesday.

Researchers said patches were available for Apple’s (AAPL) OS X. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

It's important for all users to update their devices when new updates are released.

Flaws in chips are unusual. Back in 1994, a major error in Intel’s Pentium processor caused computers to incorrectly calculate results. (CNN)

Source News Express

Posted 04/01/2018 11:09:59 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

 

You may also like...
Release Zakzaky in obedience of court order, Shi’ites...

FIFA’s independent audit committee president resigns

Reps summon AGF, ministers, NCC boss over MTN...

Commission decries environmental degradation by oil companies

Nigeria @ 55: Okowa urges unity, collective efforts...

Ogun declares June 12 public holiday, rolls out...

Buhari: Man leaves Kaduna for Lagos on bicycle...

ASUU and the Nigerian Dilemma, by Olusegun Adeniyi...

Osinbajo orders military to subdue resurgent Boko Haram...

N3.2bn Fraud: Again, Orji Kalu loses bid to...

Youths seek sustainable immunization financing plan as Gavi...

Nigeria sells N170bn in local currency bonds at...

 

Latest News Nigerian oil magnate jailed in UK Principal, 2 others suspended for flogging students Nigerian Banker gives birth inside plane FG to demolish 1,400 houses in Ogun State for rail project 67 percent Nigerians live below poverty line District Head, 11 others nabbed for kidnapping Nigeria demands AfDB’s West Africa Regional Office in Abuja Corps members give birth in orientation camp Kidnapped Bayelsa ex-commissioner regains freedom but soldier’s fate unknown Nigeria slams $875mn suit on JP Morgan over Malabu oilfield deal My accusers are dancing on graves of those killed in Omoku — Obuah Teachers Sack: Kaduna NUT calls off strike, backs El-Rufai

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (315,279 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (305,026 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (244,658 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (201,412 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (190,056 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (179,318 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (155,504 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (139,703 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (136,021 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (124,454 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (121,645 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (118,936 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (33) Business (2,854) Business Verdict (32) Columnists (792) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (200) Entertainment (431) Features (541) Global Business Monitor (222) International (1,744) Interviews (139) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (100) News (32,003) Opinion (865) Pidgin (10) Politics (4,356) Religion (666) Sports (1,406) Stock Watch (25) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN Banner advert

CBN Words on marble

 

 

Thierry Henry in Lagos Nigeria

 

APO Group Partner

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!