Update your devices to mitigate risks posed Meltdown and Spectre

Still not a fan of updating your devices? Think twice, you are most certainly affected by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, which could be exploited to steal sensitive data from your smartphone, laptops and desktops.

Posted on 2 min read

TL;DR

You are most certainly affected as the vulnerabilities are present on all CPUs. Install all vendor-supplied OS updates and update your browsers to enable site isolation, and keep updating them as new updated will continuously released to patch the big security holes.

Extra steps for Google Chrome

Paste chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process to your search bar and enable it.

Meltdown Spectre

What are these Meltdown and Spectre about?

Dubbed the worst hardware-level flaw in the semiconductor industry, Meltdown and Spectre are what will haunt us for the next few years. These hardware vulnerabilities allow bad-intention hackers to get hold of your passwords, IM conversations, documents.

This article explains these bugs in a non-technical manner.

Usually flaw and solution are announced together to lower the risk of being exploited by hackers. However, this time, the flaw was disclosed before a permanent solution was discovered. Major manufacturers and developers have been busy patching this hole throughout the past few days, and will continuously release relevant update to safeguard your devices.

You can read more about the attacks from the Meltdown attack website.

While the developers are busy patching the bugs, it won’t help unless the users install the updates released.

How many times you thought about ignoring software updates?

This post will not be discussing about the technical details of the Meltdown and Spectre attacks, but to reinforce the idea of updating your devices and software regularly.

Often I heard from friends and family, that they’re reluctant to update their devices, for the following reasons:

  • Bricking the devices
  • Worsen battery performance
  • Worsen performance

These might be valid reasons, but on the other hand, you’re risking your devices from being hacked, risking your information being stolen. Software developers don’t release updates just for fun, but to fix bugs and security improvements. These are the things that users will not appreciate, as visually nothing has been changed.

But every time you ignore a software update, there’s a hacker out there trying to exploit these known vulnerabilities.

This is a choice you have to make for yourself, risk your information, or risk your device?