Cyber attacks targeted half of UK businesses in 2016, while one in 10 people has been the victim of online fraud or offences. There are regular accounts of security violations that make the news, and two of the latest are worth knowing about as they could put computers and cell phones worldwide at risk of a major data breach. The two bugs are called Meltdown and Spectre, and scarily, they’ve been undetected for the last decade. According to researchers who spoke to the Liverpool Echo, these bugs can give hackers backdoor access into people’s computers, leaving a completely undetected trail. Here’s what you need to know about the possible breach so you can prevent your information from getting into the wrong hands.
How Can Meltdown And Spectre Be Used By Criminals?
According to The Guardian, Meltdown is a security flaw that allows hackers to bypass the hardware barrier between applications that are run by the computer’s users and the computer’s core memory. It’s highly serious as any application that’s run on the computer could be used to steal users’ data.
Spectre, on the other hand, lets hackers trick error-free applications into revealing secret information. However, it’s more difficult for hackers to take advantage of this bug.
How Easily Can This Be Done?
Manipulating these bugs is no easy feat for hackers, though. They’d have to be exceptionally smart with high IQs as well as lots of hacker knowledge to be able to make use of Meltdown and Spectre because their attacks would have to be planned and complex, unlike what common cyber-criminals could achieve. This is reassuring as it means that these cyber attacks wouldn’t be simple or easy to do to millions of people.
What Information Is At Risk Of Being Stolen?
Just because these bugs require smart hackers to use them, this doesn’t mean their manipulation wouldn’t be seriously damaging. All your financial data, such as logins, passwords, and banking records, could become free information for hackers taking advantage of Meltdown. And, since Spectre can be used by criminals to fool normal applications into releasing data, anything that’s processed by a computer app can be stolen. This can include things like passwords. Currently, there haven’t been reports of users having had data stolen by these bugs, but they’re difficult to detect.
How To Protect Yourself
The most important thing is to download the latest security programs to update your computer’sprotection and software. However, always make sure that the updates are from a reliable source, such as the Apple store if you own a Mac, to prevent viruses from reaching your computer.
It’s also important to update your browser. Mozilla’s Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome have updated (or have scheduled updates) to protect users against the security flaw. It’s therefore vital to update your browser as soon as you can, especially if you use the internet regularly and have financial data on your browser, such as when logging into banking apps or websites.
These two new computer bugs could risk lots of people’s personal and financial data being accessed by hackers. By understanding more about these bugs, we can protect ourselves more against their potential wrath.