Security: Protection Against Spectre and Meltdown
Spectre and Meltdown. Microsoft is aware of new vulnerabilities in hardware processors. These are a newly discovered class of vulnerabilities in computer systems. Based on a common chip architecture, when originally designed, was created to speed up computers. The technical name is “speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities”. You can learn more about these vulnerabilities at Google Project Zero.
Who is affected?
Affected chips include those manufactured by Intel, AMD, and ARM, which means all devices running Windows OS. Devices running other OS such as Android, Chrome, iOS, and Mac OS are also affected. We advise customers running these OS to seek guidance from their vendors.
Till now, we haven’t received any information which indicates that these vulnerabilities are being used to attack customers.
As of January 3, 2018, Microsoft released several updates to help mitigate these vulnerabilities and help protect customers. We have also deployed updates to secure our cloud services and Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. We are continuing to work closely with industry partners including chip makers, device manufacturers, and app vendors.
What steps should I take for Protection Against Spectre and Meltdown attack?
- You will need to update both your hardware and your software to address this vulnerability. This includes firmware updates from device manufacturers and, in some cases, updates to your antivirus software as well.
To receive all available protections, follow these steps:
*Note: Before your begin, make sure your antivirus (AV) software is up to date and compatible.
- Check your antivirus software manufacturer’s website for their latest compatibility information.
- Keep your Windows device up to date by turning on automatic updates.
- Check that you’ve installed the January 2018 Windows operating system security update from Microsoft. If automatic updates are turned on, the updates should be automatically delivered to you. But you should still confirm that they’re installed. For instructions, see Windows Update: FAQ.
- Install available hardware (firmware) updates from your device manufacturer. All customers will need to check with their device manufacturer to download and install their device specific hardware update.
***Note: Customers who only install the January 2018 Windows operating system security updates from Microsoft will not be fully protected against the vulnerabilities.
- Antivirus software updates should be installed first. Operating system and firmware updates should follow.
- Updates for Microsoft surface devices will be delivered to customers through Windows Update. For more information, see KB 4073065.
- If your device is not from Microsoft, apply firmware from the device manufacturer. Contact your device manufacturer for more information.
This is how we can have a Protection Against Spectre and Meltdown