Understanding Meltdown & Spectre - What To Know About New Exploits That Affect Virtually All CPUs
Security

Understanding Meltdown & Spectre - What To Know About New Exploits That Affect Virtually All CPUs


By ANANDTECH
  • ANANDTECH

Overview

Security researchers working for Google’s Project Zero group, along with other research groups and academic institutions, have discovered a series of far-ranging security risks.

The immediate concern is an exploit being called Meltdown, which primarily affects Intel’s CPUs, but also has been confirmed to affect some ARM CPU designs as well. With Meltdown it is possible for malicious code to abuse Intel and ARM’s speculative execution implementations to get the processor to leak information from other processes. Meanwhile a second class of attacks is being called Spectre, and the number of processors at risk for exploitation is even wider.

This guide covers:

A high level overview of where things stand
A deep dive into technical aspects
What these exploits mean for you
Things we know vs things that are unclear
What users can do right now 
Essentially every high-performance processor ever made –Intel, AMD, ARM, and POWER – is thought to be vulnerable here. Don't wait to learn more. 

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