Security Flaw makes Telecos and Banks Jittery
All the major banks and telecom companies are implementing security software fixes to counter Meltdown and Spectre the two major flaws that are impacting computers and smartphones.
According to an article on teen.sag, these companies have also notified their customers to take immediate measure.
“As a responsible Internet service provider, we always ensure that our network equipment runs the latest software patches,” said StarHub, urging customers to update the software for their Internet-facing devices.
A Singtel spokesman said: “We advise our customers to monitor the websites of product vendors and device manufacturers for software patches and immediately update their devices with these patches when they are available.”
Since thousands of smartphones and computers that were compromised had the same processor that is designed by Intel, ARM, and AMD, and this is where the flaw was found.
In the wake of such risky environment, many banks like OCBC, DBS Bank, United Overseas Bank are planning to implement security software as part of their risk management process.
Most of the banks use Linux and Windows system for banking process, and this system normally runs on Intel processor. It only when the bank has to use a certain task that they will go for UNIX systems, which is illustrated by the chip flaw. It was Singapore Computer Emergency Response team that issued an advisory cautioning other about the flaw in all computers and smartphones.
A statement by SingCert “The vulnerabilities allow hackers to access the deep recesses of a computer’s memory and steal data, including passwords and confidential documents.
The only possible way to fix this vulnerability is to change the defective processor. This was the initial response by the US government-sponsored Computer Emergency Response, which it withdrew later, and said those affected should update with a new installation. SingCert, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore did not recommend hardware replacement.
Nevertheless, vendors including Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Amazon have started releasing patches to help minimize the risk of the cyber-attack.
On Thursday, Apple said that Meltdown has the most potential to be exploited. The tech giant has already released security patches for iOS 11.2 operating system for smartphones, macOS 10.13.2 for computers, and tvOS 11.2 for media players. The watchOS for smartwatches did not require patches for mitigation. According to experts, Spectre is harder to exploit than Meltdown but also harder to fix.