Oracle issues patches for Spectre and Meltdown

EnlargeSimon Smith

Running it on my machine told me that Windows was updated to protect against Meltdown, but I was still vulnerable to Spectre. They use flaws in the way that chips use speculative execution to reveal private information to attackers, and affect hardware from all chip vendors.

Several other global software vendors have already issued patches for the vulnerabilities, including Microsoft and Apple.

Among the 237 fixes in Oracle's Critical Patch Update for January are fixes for both Spectre and Meltdown.

In the rush to issue patches there have been various instances of Spectre and Meltdown updates causing problems of their own.

It seems that scammers are trying to take advantage of the fact the consumers are not rushing to fix the security flaws.

Users can scroll down through the program's window view to get more information about their PC's security health and how it related to Spectre and Meltdown, all in simple non-techie language.

The download is called Intel-AMD-SecurityPatch-10-1-v1.exe - a filename that looks pretty legitimate, but when users install it onto their computer, they'll find it's actually laced with the Smoke Loader malware, causing the computer to connect to domains, sending encrypted information to them via additional payloads.

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The scam is targeted at Windows 10 users in Germany, with the alleged update appearing on a website that mimics the design of a German government site.

"Online criminals are notorious for taking advantage of publicised events and rapidly exploiting them, typically via phishing campaigns".

According to Segura, there are very few legitimate cases when suppliers will make direct contact to urge organisations to apply updates.

"The presence of a certificate simply implies that the data that transits between your computer and the site is secure, but that has nothing to do with the intentions or content offered, which could be a total scam".

Earlier in the month, security researchers have disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from almost every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, AMD and ARM, according to a report from Reuters.

It's important to note so far no data breaches have been reported.

Meltdown can affect desktop computers, laptops and cloud-based systems.

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