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Mercedes Oliveira

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Meltdown and Spectre explained
January 12, 2018

Recently, details of two vulnerabilities – Meltdown and Spectre – have been all over the news. Here’s a run-down of what they are and how you can protect yourself against them.


This vulnerability could allow unauthorised access to your computer and data. At the moment, it only affects Windows PCs. The good news is that Meltdown is a software-level issue which can mostly be mitigated with software patches, which are being released by Microsoft. These will be delivered in the normal way through Windows updates.

Spectre is the one that has conflicting information circulating the industry, but essentially, it allows an attacker to trick error-free programs into leaking their secrets, thus gaining access to your data. It appears to affect Windows PCs, Apple Macs and Smart Phones.

Limited patching has been released so far by hardware manufacturers and this is yet to be tested – most manufacturers have announced their intention to release fixes in the future, but without any timescale.

There also appears to be a web browser component to these vulnerabilities. Publishers will be releasing updates where required, and advice on securing your web browser.

What do you need to do?
The most important thing is to make sure your system is up-to-date. Download and apply any patches as soon as they are available. If you’re a projectfive customer and you’re on our Device Management service, then this will be taken care of for you.

If you have any concerns, you can give us a call on 01276 455455 and our friendly team will be happy to help.

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