Computer researchers have recently found out that the main chip in most modern computers—the CPU—has a hardware bug. It’s a design flaw in the hardware that has been there for years. This is a big deal because it affects almost every computer on your network, including your workstations and all your servers.
This hardware bug allows malicious programs to steal data that is being processed in your computer memory. Normally, applications are not able to do that because they are isolated from each other and the Operating System. This hardware bug breaks that isolation.
Therefore, if the bad guys are able to get malicious software running on your computer, they can get access to your passwords stored in a password manager/browser, your emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents. Not good.
What Are We Doing About This?
We need to update and patch all machines on your network. This is going to take some time, some of the patches are not even available yet. We also may have to replace some mission-critical computers to fix this. The patching may have an impact to your systems:
- With Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skylake, Kabylake or newer CPU), benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns, but we don’t expect most users to notice a change because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds.
- With Windows 10 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), some benchmarks show more significant slowdowns, and we expect that some users will notice a decrease in system performance.
- With Windows 8 and Windows 7 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), we expect most users to notice a decrease in system performance.
In the meantime, we need you to be extra vigilant, with security top of mind and Think Before You Click.