How to Protect your Computer from Spectre and Meltdown Attacks
Spectre and meltdown attacks are two cyber threat vulnerabilities that can expose data in every computer device that requires a CPU (central processing unit) to function. Both cyber attacks can put every smartphone, computer, server and network at risk of losing all sensitive and important data held in its memory.
Though Spectre and Meltdown can both exploit dangerous attacks, their effects kind of differ from each other. Spectre allows the attacker to make a program to reveal some of its data that is supposed to be confidential. On the other had, Meltdown allows the attacker to use a user application to gain access to all data residing on that device, including those information that application is not permitted to view.
The first wave of Spectre and Meltdown attacks were successfully patched earlier this year, but IT experts predicted that it would be only a matter of time before new variants of these threats can be developed and discovered.
Well, that time has come. A new Spectre attack variant has recently been discovered and is said to infect CPUs manufactured by tech giants Intel, AMD and ARM.
Though this new variant is isn’t seen to be as harmful as previous Spectre vulnerabilities, more related cyber threats are expected to be invented and propagated online as cybercriminals are always actively creating new methods and innovating cyber attacks to exploit vulnerabilities of computer security systems.
Here are some important tips to be kept in mind to protect your device from a Spectre or Meltdown attack:
Update your software
A great precaution method to take is to regularly update your software and operating system. You can even set the updates to be done automatically so you’ll be more sure that you can get the latest software patch once it has been released. You can also double check if you are getting the latest software version update by going to your server manufacturer’s official website. If you find out that your PC has not yet received the update, you can easily download and install the latest version to your system which you can get from that website.
Download a reputable antivirus software
Even though Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities are said to be difficult to get detected. having a reputable antivirus tool can still give you an extra layer of protection against these two vulnerabilities and many more others. Thankfully, there is still no known malware that exploits these flaws so chances of your data (e.g. credit card number) to be stolen is still pretty low. Also, make sure that your antivirus software is running with the latest updates so it can give full protection to your device.
Use dedicated servers
By using dedicated servers, you can have complete ownership of the system. With this, you can take control over of all security measures and management of the server as well as reducing the chances of security breaches at the same time because you will be the only one using the system. You can save yourself from the dangers of sharing your server accidentally with other people or organizations.
With cyber security researchers noting that Spectre and Meltdown can cause catastrophic harm to data saved in any computer device worldwide that uses computer chips that were manufactured in the last 20 years, knowing the important details on how to deal with these flaws must be on the mind of every user. Don’t let these flaws worsen the vulnerabilities of your system, always be on the move and be one step ahead in setting up the cyber security protection plan in your computer and network..
Julia Sowells919 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.