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Meltdown Spectre Kernel Vulnerability

Meltdown and Spectre: What you need to know

Computer researchers have recently found out that the main chip in most modern computers—the CPU—has a hardware bug. It's really a design flaw in the hardware that has been there for years. This is a big deal because it affects almost every computer on our network, including your workstation and a lot of our servers.

This hardware bug allows malicious programs to steal data that is being processed in your computer memory. Normally, applications are not able to do that because they are isolated from each other and the operating system. This hardware bug breaks that isolation.
 
So, if the bad guys are able to get malicious software running on your computer, they can get access to your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents. Not good.

So, What Are We Doing About This?
 
We need to update and patch all machines on the network. This is going to take some time, some of the patches are not even available yet. We also may have to replace some mission-critical computers to fix this.

In the meantime, we ask you to be extra vigilant, with security top of mind and especially leery of clicking on unfamiliar links and/or attachments.

As always, if you have any questions about this concern or other security-related issues, please contact the IT Security Office at 609-524-1979.