There are New Vulnerabilities named Spectre and Meltdown, which exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors have just been discovered by Expert Cyber Security researchers.
The Meltdown Vulnerability
Meltdown breaks the most fundamental isolation between user applications and the operating system. This attack allows a program to access the memory, and thus also the secrets, of other programs and the operating system.
The Spectre Vulnerability
Spectre is slightly different from Meltdown. This is so because it can allow hackers to fool the applications (even the stable versions of the respective application) running on a machine to give up secret information from the Kernel module of the operating system to the hacker with the consent or knowledge of the user.
Even though it is stated to be harder for the hackers to take advantage of but you should always be careful because it is you who is vulnerable. Also, it is worth noting it is harder to be fixed as well and can lead to a bigger issue in the long-term plans.
- Desktop, Laptop, and Cloud computers may be affected by Meltdown.
- Every Intel processor which implements out-of-order execution is potentially affected.
- every processor since 1995 (except Intel Itanium and Intel Atom before 2013).
- it is unclear whether ARM and AMD processors are also affected by Meltdown.
As fas as Spectre is concerned, almost every system is affected by it- Desktops, Laptops, Cloud Servers, as well as Smartphones.Well, if you are running any of the modern processors no matter if they are made by Intel, AMD or ARM or what device you are using them on, you are vulnerable to Spectre.
ATTACK SCENARIOS :
There is no current trace of Meltdown or Spectre affecting any machines around the globe, but it is also worth noting that these attacks are so sensitive that they are really difficult t be detected. Experts have said that they expect hackers to quickly develop programs to start attacking users based on the vulnerability as it is public now. Chief Executive of Cybersecurity Consulting firm Trail of Bits, Dan Guido said:
“Exploits for these bugs will be added to hackers’ standard toolkits.”
TO BE SAFE :
YOU CAN CHECK YOUR WINDOWS PC FOR INFECTION USING THESE
Run PowerShell as administrator and execute the following commands one after the other:
PS> # Save the current execution policy so it can be reset PS> $SaveExecutionPolicy = Get-ExecutionPolicy PS> Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope Currentuser PS> CD C:\ADV180002\SpeculationControl PS> Import-Module .\SpeculationControl.psd1 PS> Get-SpeculationControlSettings PS> # Reset the execution policy to the original state PS> Set-ExecutionPolicy $SaveExecutionPolicy -Scope Currentuser
This will install, activate an additional module and enable protection.
Check the output and see if all the elements show a value of True. That shows that your Windows is protected. If it shows False, it means that your system is vulnerable and you need to fix those issues.
You can later on restore the default ExecutionPolicy setting by running executing this Set-ExecutionPolicy Default command.
Poc of Meltdown : https://github.com/IAIK/meltdown