As you have no doubt heard, Spectre and Meltdown aren’t software bugs that can be fixed in a few days or weeks when a company pushes out a patch. They are part of the architecture of hardware – the chips that run your computer. And you don’t just roll out a patch for hardware. Chips can’t be “patched” until a new version comes out – a refresh cycle that is generally five years or much longer. In other words, these flaws aren’t just bad, they’re long-term bad.
First, exploiting them is not easy. An attacker would need to install malware on your computer to take advantage of them.
Second, you and your organization are not totally defenseless. There are tools now available to defend both your operating system and your software. You just have to use them…
Taylor Armerding is an award-winning journalist who left the declining field of mainstream newspapers in 2011 to write in the explosively expanding field of information security. He has previously written for CSO Online and the Sophos blog Naked Security. When he’s not writing he hikes, bikes, golfs, and plays bluegrass music.