Spectre & Meltdown

Rick Bensene rickb at bensene.com
Fri Jan 5 13:18:53 CST 2018

Ed Sharpe wrote:
>what about  xenon processors??

Xenon?  You mean the processor jointly developed by Microsoft & IBM based on the PowerPC architecture, developed and used in the Xbox 360?

Or perhaps did you mean Xeon (note no N in the middle)?  There is a big difference.

Don't know if the Xenon is susceptible, but given that the problem is with the way VM works, it could be susceptible, but the code to exploit it would be completely different because of the PowerPC architecture.

Intel Xeon processors are marketed toward non-consumer computers such as servers and workstations.  All Xeon processors are susceptible because they all do speculative execution.

The solution to avoiding infection is not to use any web browser that has Java enabled....at least for now.
Of course, get rid of Flash if you have it.  It could also be a vector, though that hasn't been proven.
Use no-script.
Better  yet, use a text-only browser that ignores all scripting of any kind.
Don't install /any/ software for any source for which you are not completely assured of safety  (good luck).
Get rid of any software on your machine that you are not 100% sure about, especially if it can automatically update itself.
If you have any third-party software that is set to auto-update, either turn the feature off, or only allow you to determine when updates are applied.
Of course, update your OS as soon as updates are available, as patches (which will likely slow your system down) are forthcoming from Microsoft and various Linux trees.
The best defense, however, is simply call your ISP and tell them you want your connection turned off. ;-)
It's getting really dangerous out there.

Rick Bensene
The Old Calculator Museum

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