Who needs to worry about security chip flaws?

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Two serious flaws in computer chips could be putting your personal information at risk.

The chips are used in everything from laptops to smartphones, even the cloud.

News4Utah’s Cyber Security expert Robert Jorgensen from Utah Valley University  joined us in studio Monday to discuss what this could mean for you.

He says the two flaws called “Meltdown” and “Spectre” affect the way computers handle information held in memory.

“Between the two of them, they affect the vast majority of computer chips made over the last two decade,” Jorgensen said. “This includes the Intel CPUs that are found in a variety of devices.”

What’s the big deal?

Jorgensen says both of these vulnerabilities could allow an attack to read memory from one part of the computer to another that isn’t supposed to have access.

“That memory could have anything in it. If it is part of a streaming video from Netflix, it isn’t a big deal. If it is a password or another sensitive information, the impact could be huge,” he said.

How do people protect themselves?

Updates are available for Windows, Linux, and OSX. Jorgensen says these updates need a bit more polish, they will help mitigate the issue.

“This is a bigger concern for multi-tenant computers, like cloud providers, than it is for individual home users,” he said.

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon says they have made security patches.

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