Security researchers have detected major flaws that leave millions of computers, smartphones, tablets, wearables, servers and smart devices vulnerable. The flaws, Meltdown and Spectre, allow hackers to trick applications and access passwords and sensitive data.
They hit devices running Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android and almost any other operating system. Meltdown lets hackers bypass hardware barriers on Intel chips to steal data, whereas Spectre hits every single device with chips from Intel, AMD and ARM designed over the past decade or more.
As soon as news of the vulnerability was public, every major firm released security updates. Experts, however, are concerned that these will slow down systems. Linux-based systems could slow down as much as 17 per cent, whereas systems running Intel processors could slow down anywhere between 5 per cent and 30 per cent depending on the processor. Rajpreet Kaur, Senior Research Analyst, Gartner, says allocating sufficient memory to accommodate the security patch is crucial now.
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