Hardware Flaws Identified
On Wednesday, January 3rd, Microsoft published information about two critical security flaws that “could affect nearly every Intel computer released in the past 20 years – and the AMD and Arm chips in laptops, tablets, and phones, too “(Hitachi Security Advisory, 1/5/18). This hardware vulnerability even gives knowledgeable attackers access to virtual machines. These exploits have the capability to read memory and extract sensitive information, including passwords and encryption keys.
Recommendation – Apply latest security fixes
Experts are recommending taking immediate action to protect computers by applying the latest security fixes as soon as possible. However, there have been a few hiccups along the way in the rush to fix the problem. Microsoft released an update to address these hardware flaws. and then blocked its installation on PC’s running what they called “incompatible anti-virus software,” as reported by TechRepublic. Microsoft then blocked (delayed) this update on these systems after some were left unable to boot following a blue screen of death. The “out-of-bounds” patch will protect computers running Windows Defender (Windows 10) and Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows 7) and applies to all computers running supported versions of Windows, Windows Server, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Stay Tuned: A webinar with further details and recommendations will be announced shortly.
Hitachi Security Advisory, dated January 5, 2018