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article imageMicrosoft issues emergency Windows update

By Tim Sandle     Jan 7, 2018 in Technology
Microsoft has issued an out-of-band security update, for all of its supported versions of Windows. The update is part of a number of fixes designed to protect users against a recently identified processor bug in Intel, AMD, and ARM chipsets.
Technology firms are working to fix two major bugs in computer chips that could allow hackers to steal sensitive data. News are that a security flaw in Intel processors has necessitated a to a redesign of Linux and Windows kernels to protect systems against a hardware flaw has led to a number of technology companies reviewing security protection. The flaw was picked up by Google researchers.
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The technology's sector's love of grand sounding names has led to the flaws being dubbed the "Meltdown and Spectre bugs". The consequences are potentially significant, according to the BBC, with billions of PCs, smartphones and tablets around the world being at risk. This risk has seemingly yet to be exploited; there was no evidence that either vulnerability has led to a security issue being enacted.
In a statement, Intel said: "Intel and other technology companies have been made aware of new security research describing software analysis methods that, when used for malicious purposes, have the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed. Intel believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data."
The news about the flaws with the chips led Microsoft to rapidly issue a rare out-of-band security update for Windows. The software update will only go so far, however. The Verge reports that fixes are also needed in the form of firmware updates from Intel, AMD, or other chip vendors. In addition, some anti-virus vendors will also need to update their software so that it functions correctly with the new patches (this is because the changes relate to Kernel-level access).
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Apple, a little behind Microsoft in announcing the vulnerability to their devices like iPhones and iPads (but not its smart watch), have also begun to roll out a security update.
More about Windows, Microsoft surface, Security, Bug
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