On 1/3/2018, newly discovered security vulnerabilities were announced that affect computer processors on virtually all modern computers and mobile devices. The vulnerabilities are being referred to as “Meltdown” and “Spectre”.
Applying mitigating patches that address these vulnerabilities on servers, endpoints and mobile devices is currently the only way to ensure it will not be exploited. Due to the large number of systems impacted, patching solutions will vary in both availability as well as potential impact to our environment. As patches are released, they will be prioritized, tested, and deployed based on system criticality and risk.
What can you do to protect your personal devices?
1) Don’t panic. While these vulnerabilities are widespread and definitely very bad, there is no need to panic. There’s no need to go buy a new computer or go back to using pen and paper. It is common to see scary media reports about the potential impacts when widespread vulnerabilities are announced.
2) Good cyber-hygiene is important no matter the circumstance. Keep your software up-to-date. This includes your operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android), your browser (Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari), and your browser plug-ins. Vendors are working very hard to produce software to mitigate the risks of these vulnerabilities. Make sure you install these updates when they are available.
EWU IT has compiled the following links to help those who want more specific information about these vulnerabilties.
The EWU Help Desk is ready to answer any questions or further concerns you have.