7 Things You Need To Know About Spectre And Meltdown Security Exploits

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An Industry Wide Issue Not Specific To Intel

Intel has gone to great lengths to stress that Spectre and Meltdown are not "unique to any one architecture or processor implementation."

In fact, Intel says security researchers notified Intel, AMD and ARM of the exploits.

Intel says that Spectre and Meltdown – which allow attackers to see contents of "privileged memory" – exploits "speculative execution techniques common in modern processors."

Intel's Smith says the chip giant "brought the industry together" to come up with a "common approach" to mitigating the problem

"There was a security research team that notified Intel as well as other industry participants including AMD and ARM Holdings of the new side channel analysis exploit of the computing system," said Smith.

Solution providers, for their part, said the exploits affect most modern processors and can be executed against mobile devices, desktops, laptops and servers running in cloud environments. All told, the flaw affects nearly every device an end user has or operates, said Michael Knight, president and CTO of Encore Technology Group, Greenville, S.C.

"This is significantly different because it's a critical hardware flaw, not a software flaw," said Knight. "The scale is massive."

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