There has been a discovery by researchers that there are security gaps in microchips located in a computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). These gaps are said to allow data accessibility by hackers if explored. As of today, no data breach has been reported. Now, is it right to raise the alarm over a threat that has not been successful?
What exactly is the security flaw?
Let us look at why we should be familiar with this issue. There are two flaws in the microchip that have been discovered; these are Spectre and Meltdown.
Spectre affects the microchips in tablets, smartphones and laptops/computers that run on AMD, ARM or Intel microchips.
Meltdown only affects desktops, laptops, and servers that have Intel microchips.
One of the senior analysts at ICD Tech Consultancy, Bryan Ma, has also added that cloud-connected data centers are also at risk.
What is the scale of the discovered security flaw?
It is important to notice that there is no need to cause any alarm. The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) based in the UK said that there was no successful breach of the stated flaw. But since it has become public, there are some concerns that hackers might test this loophole.
The BBC network has stated that the issue is not new to the tech industry because it has been on the radar for the last six months. The people involved in the investigation of the security threat signed non-disclosure agreements to keep things on a tight leash until the issue was resolved.
If you look at the general computer usage statistics, the IDC approximates that 1.5 billion PC’s are in use which is mostly powered by Intel microchips.
What is at risk?
Hackers will be able to read any information on your laptop if they are successful. Password information and data on credit cards can be easily accessible when the tables are turned. It is not clear as to what degree the hackers can steal information, but what stands is that the threat should be eliminated before its too late.
What security measures can I use?
OS and device manufacturers are rolling out security patches and updates to protect your smart devices and computers. It is important for you are the user to install the updates as fast as possible.