What companies and consumers need to know about Meltdown

CNNTech’s Marwa Eltagouri and Selena Larson talk to John Kennedy of the Associated Press about the release of a software flaw called Meltdown, and its impact on the technology industry. Watch in the video above.

Hundreds of companies said they were “working to address the threat posed by this vulnerability in the next 24 hours,” with some companies reaching out to customers to fix their systems.

Some warned to be careful. Intel warned computer users and Windows users could lose up to 30% of information on a laptop after being infected.

Here are some of the companies that were most impacted:

Facebook — Concerned that the problem could expose users’ photos

Instagram — Zuckerberg posted that users should change their password to Instagram and the company would do what it could to protect users

Google — A company official said on Twitter that Google Chrome and Android operating systems could be affected

Microsoft — Microsoft’s latest version of its system, Windows 10, was vulnerable

Apple — While the Apple Watch was less at risk, Apple announced it would patch its Mac systems and mobile operating system, iOS, this week.

Every company mentioned below is safe. Only some people’s devices could have been affected.

And don’t worry, your Mac is probably more protected than your phone.

Companies around the world, including Microsoft, which helps develop servers, invested heavily in updating its software to fix the problems.

And while this doesn’t mean your computer is safe from being hacked, it’s usually difficult to exploit the issue to commit a crime. The Meltdown and Spectre bug mostly affects servers that were software based and cannot be exploited on computers running Windows.

Still, the companies are on high alert, particularly when it comes to modern operating systems like Macs and iPhones.

In addition to Intel’s solution to the problem, these companies are also updating their software:

Apple: On Monday, Apple’s engineers released a patch for Macs that fixes two of the three vulnerabilities. An update that fixes one vulnerability is expected this Wednesday. A new version of iOS will be issued next month.

Intel: Intel announced on Monday that it will roll out a fix and patch next week. It’s unknown if the fix will work for Apple’s mobile devices.

Oracle: Oracle, which is also expected to issue a fix on Tuesday, will try to fix one of the flaws across different devices.

Microsoft: Microsoft will release a fix sometime next week. If it doesn’t work, it will release another fix. Microsoft noted on its blog post that it will use software it developed for its Surface Pro tablets, but can also deploy the fix on its operating systems and hardware.

Researchers discovered the flaws in Intel’s chips last summer and in September, Intel revealed that it had already resolved one flaw and worked on a fix for the other one.

Meltdown is when information from the chip’s microscopic circuits allows outsiders to break into encrypted data when it travels between the processor and memory chip, called the microprocessor, or memory. Spectre, on the other hand, allows hackers to read information on just the processor.

Leave a Comment