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Spectre and Meltdown computer chip vulnerability

Jan 9, 2018 | Advice, Newsletter, Resources

You may have read about the computer chip vulnerability affecting nearly all (modern) computing devices and operating systems which was in the news at the end of last week.

Should you be worried, and what should you do?

Firstly, don’t panic. Although a flaw has been identified, there doesn’t appear to have been any attacks resulting from it.

We are more worried about the social engineering risk – e.g. scammers calling people to convince them they are in danger and extracting payment or password information.

So, if someone calls or emails you telling you to take some specific actions, especially around clicking links to install software, or passing over any personal details or passwords, it’s probably a scam. Delete the email or put the phone down. If you’re in any doubt, call or email us.

Leading manufacturers have been working on mitigating these vulnerabilities and Google, Microsoft and Apple have already released several updates to and taken action to secure their cloud services. Further updates can be expected in the coming weeks.

Anti-virus vendors are also updating their systems and our chosen vendor ESET, can stop malware that uses Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities

Beyond applying updates and being wary of potential fraud, there is nothing more proactive you can do: we all simply have to wait for patches to be released by the manufacturers.

For EJC clients, we will update your systems as patches become available. If you also have systems or computers at home or not managed by EJC, taking advantage of automatic updates from Microsoft and Apple, and make sure that any other software you have installed is kept up-to-date. Updates should either be automatic or available from the manufacturer’s website. Don’t just click on any link in an email promising you a software update – even if it looks genuine, it’s safer to go directly to the manufacturer’s website via your browser.

As ever, do get in touch if you have any further questions – otherwise please just carry on as normal, remaining vigilant.

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