Meltdown & Spectre Vulnerabilities: Important Update

A few days ago I wrote about the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities and immediate recommended steps to take to mitigate the security problems created by these hardware bugs. Microsoft has already released some updates for the vulnerabilities along with their regular group of monthly patches, but some actions on your part may be required in order to successfully deploy these fixes.

Specifically, Microsoft is changing how they release updates. They will now check for a setting on each computer that will verify compatibility of the installed antivirus software with the operating system and to-be-installed patch. This is necessary because without this setting the antivirus software will block needed updates causing them to fail. Because the update is being blocked by the antivirus software, it’s up to the AV manufacturer to make sure this setting is present and correct.

Actions to Take: Expect antivirus manufacturers to start releasing updates to their products to take care of this issue. Trend Micro has just released a critical update to address this issue and more information is available on the Trend website.

For users running the current version of Webroot (9.0.19.x), no updates are required.

If your organization runs any other antivirus software applications, please check with the manufacturer or contact us for assistance.

And remember, these fixes I’m talking about today are only associated with Microsoft’s operating systems. For Apple, Linux, and other operating systems, contact your respective manufacturer for assistance. And also be sure to check with your hardware manufacturer for almost certain-to-be-released firmware updates and other important related news.

Note: For MicroData clients with Complete, Select, and Business Care service agreements, no action is required on your part. MicroData has already taken all necessary steps for you.

Everyone stay safe out there!


Meltdown & Spectre Vulnerabilities. What You Need to Know

Meltdown and Spectre are recently discovered hardware design flaws in the main processing chip – the CPU – in most modern computers. It turns out this design flaw has actually been present for years but has only recently been identified. These vulnerabilities affect PCs, Macs, desktops, notebooks, tablets, and even smartphones. And if you’re running applications in the Cloud, Cloud Providers that use Intel CPUs are also affected.

This is a big deal because it affects almost every computer and server on your network – Mac or PC. The design flaw, if exploited by specially crafted software, allows stealing of data that is being processed in your computer’s memory. Normally this couldn’t happen as applications and their data are kept isolated from each other, but this hardware bug breaks that isolation.

So if cyber criminals are able to get malicious software running on your computer either via malware or an infected website, they can gain access to your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your emails, instant messages, and even business-critical documents.

So what to do?

First, if you are a MicroData Complete CareSelect Care, or Private Cloud  customer, we’ve already implemented a remediation plan and there’s nothing you will need to do. Taking care of Meltdown and Spectre involves  patching and updating all machines on your network and in many cases making modifications to the underlying operating system. These fixes will take some time as some patches won’t be released for several days.

If you’re managing your own security you’ll need to obtain the relevant patches for your operating systems, examine your antivirus software to make sure it will work properly with the patches and modify/update if not, and then apply the updates to all systems.

MicroData has tools that permit company-wide implementation of these patches and required changes, so if you need assistance contact us at 800.924.8167 or at

As always, but particularly until you get these updates applied, be extra vigilant of email links you click on and websites you visit.

Everyone stay safe out there!