Recent articles in the media have raised awareness around some processor security vulnerabilities named Meltdown and Spectre; these are particularly troubling as they affect most Computer processors including, all Apple devices, all modern Intel processor chips and some AMD chips. These are found in most PC’s, servers, laptops and a handful of other non-apple tablets and mobile phones in use today.
Meltdown and Spectre can be exploited by malware to steal passwords and other sensitive data from computers, there are patches for Windows PC’s for one of the bugs, and other patches are on the way for most other systems. Crucially, the updates will incur a performance hit; the effects are still being benchmark tested. However on Intel products, there are extensive reports of between a 5% to 35% slow down, individual results will depend on the tasks, the processor model and type that you have.
Because of the performance hit we understand that there will be a reluctance to install the update to fix these security flaws, however, we must put your systems security and the security of your customer’s data ahead of all other factors.
There have been three Court cases launched in America stating: “The defect renders the Intel x86-64x CPUs unfit for their intended use and purpose,” the complaints read. “In essence, Intel x86-64x CPU owners are left with the unappealing choice of either purchasing a new processor or computer containing a CPU that does not contain the Defect, or continuing to use a computer with massive security vulnerabilities or one with significant performance degradation.”
We agree and believe there will be much broader implications of these issues as regulators, and other international courts are likely to get involved, this could lead to further lawsuits.
In the meantime, unless clients contact us to specifically request that they do not authorise Welgo implementing the patches, we will begin installing them from Saturday 13th January 2018.
Further to this, we will be installing updates to our web services; this may result in a short service interruption between 22:00 and 24:00 on both Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th January 2018.