Meltdown & Spectre How to protect your PC
We’ve summarized the steps to take to keep your PC, Laptop or Windows device safe from the Meltdown and Spectre flaws.
A newly discovered vulnerability in most modern processors could allow malicous hackers to access your data (ie. passwords, encryption keys and other information) stored in the protected kernel memory of your device. These flaws which go by the names Spectre and Meltdown affect a wide range of CPUs from Intel and ARM (to a lesser extent AMD).
Luckily Microsoft and other major OS vendors are rushing to create security patches for their users that might be affected by the flaws (and because of the vast number of users using intel based devices there is a great need to do so). Currently there is an emergency Windows patch available for Windows 10 users (other versions of Windows are scheduled to receive patches in the coming days).
Intel Chip Flaw: How to Install the Windows Patch
Most Windows 10 machines should have a notification shortly that will ask you to restart your machine so it can be installed. If you haven’t yet received such a notification, then you can check the Windows Update settings to see if the security patch is waiting for you.
Head over to Settings > Update & Security. If you are running Windows 10 version 1709 (Fall Creators Update), then the patch you should see is labeled Security Update for Windows (KB4056892).
For older versions of Windows 10:
- Windows 10 version 1703 (Creators Update): KB4056891
- Windows 10 version 1607 (Anniversary Update): KB4056890
- Windows 10 version 1511 (November Update): KB4056888
- Windows 10 version 1507 (Initial Release): KB4056893
After updating its a good idea to run your AV (Anti-Virus/Malware) software if you have one, you can also run a scan from the Windows Defender software which you can find here: Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender > Open Windows Defender Security Center
“Microsoft recommends all customers protect their devices by running a supported anti-virus program.”
Other things to keep in mind?
Browsers have also been found to be vulnerable to this method of attack so keeping your browsers updated is also a good idea. Most of the major browser vendors have already released updates patching this flaw.
Chrome – On Jan. 23, a new version of Google Chrome should also include mitigations to protect your desktop and phone from web-based attacks. But if you don’t want to wait, Google says an experimental feature called Site Isolation can help right away.
As always if you would like any help with installing this patch or ongoing IT services please feel free to contact us either by emailing us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or using the form below.
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