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What you need to know about the Meltdown / Spectre vulnerabilities

There’s recently been a lot of media attention around two vulnerabilities in computer chips. Called Meltdown and Spectre, the flaws exist in nearly all microprocessors made since 1995 — meaning they are found in nearly every computer or smartphone in current use.

There’s no arguing the fact that these vulnerabilities are wide-reaching. But, before you start to panic… the situation sounds a lot worse than it is.

It requires a high degree of sophistication, time, and luck for hackers to be able to exploit either vulnerability. Remember, they have been around for 20 years and are something that both researchers and government agencies have been aware of for at least six months, yet we haven’t heard much as far as exploits in the wild.

That doesn’t mean you should just sit back though. Laptop and desktop workstations are at the greatest risk, so make sure that you are keeping up with Microsoft® patches as they are released. To that point, you should be diligent about patching all systems and mobile devices. While it is suggested by some commentators that computer performance could slow down between 5% and 30% once patched, Intel is saying that users will not see significant performance changes. In other words, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So to summarize – don’t worry, but be diligent and be sure to install patches as soon as they become available for your specific operating systems (Mac, Linux, Windows). Intermedia continues to review our systems and infrastructure in our constant effort to ensure that customer data stays safe. We are also taking the appropriate mitigation and patching actions.

Updated on 1/25: Intermedia continues to work with and follow the advice of our vendors and suppliers to implement patches to Spectre and Meltdown across our systems as they become available. Out of an abundance of caution and for the security of our customers’ data, we will not be disclosing the exact patch status and timing of each product and/or service. However, our customers can rest assured that Intermedia is fully committed and dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of their data.

Continue to check back on this blog post for further updates.

About Ryan Barrett

Ryan is Intermedia's Vice President of Security and Privacy.