Flaws in computer processor chips

Authorized Information Released 1/5/18 by Concepte of Illinois, Inc. 618-438-5005, coi@ceillinois.com

What you need to know because of found flaws in computer processor chips

There are times when you just need to know. You might have heard about the computer chip flaws on the news.

Because you are one of our valued clients, we want you to know that we are following this worldwide industry problem with great interest. We want to make sure we can minimize any effect upon your computers and network.

On Wednesday (Jan. 3rd 2018) two security flaws that may affect nearly all microprocessors, which is the brain of your computers and networks were found. These two security flaws which are called ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ might allow hackers to lift passwords and other important data from your computers and that includes smartphones, PCs, laptops, tablets and any other devices that contain microprocessors.

The industry is working on fixes to fix the flaws or provide a means to stop the exploitation of these flaws. Some researchers have stated that the Spectre is not completely fixable because of the way the fundamental flaw in the processor have been built over the last decades. (Stated by Paul Kocher, which is one of the researchers who discovered these flaws. The ‘‘Meltdown’’ is connected to processors made by Intel, which is a company that provides the chips for more than 90% of the computers and servers that have been sold over the past 20 years.

‘Spectre’ is much more difficult for hackers to exploit and affects Intel chips, microprocessors from another company that is a major producer of computer chips. AMD is a rival of Intel. These two chip producers cover about 98% of all computers produced in the last 20 years.

Companies around the world are working to find a fix for these chip flaws. ‘‘Meltdown’’ can now be fixed by installing a software “patch” on each computer. Microsoft has released a patch for PCs that use its Windows operating system and Apple is said that it has already released patches for their operating system.

Remember, the computer industry is scrambling to patch a massive security vulnerability that’s present in the processors used in almost all of the computers in the world. The widespread vulnerability could allow a hacker to steal information stored in the memory of the chip itself, including things such as passwords and cached files. It could also pave the way for attackers to weaken other security features. Although there are no known exploits for the problem yet, the problem is alarming because it could affect so many computers.

Concepte of Illinois is aware of the flaws and is working with industry vendors to ensure that when patches are released they will be available to us. Please contact our office to schedule a time for these patches to be installed or to obtain more information.

Professionally Yours
Erick Christy, President