Three of the world’s largest chipmakers could be exposing millions of people’s personal data to hackers, due to a serious bug within the computer chips they produce. The flaws in the chips are known as Meltdown and Spectre and were found by experts at Google. Meltdown affects laptops, desktop computers, and internet servers with Intel chips, whilst Spectre has the potential to affect a wider audience of smartphones, tablets, and computers powered by Intel, AMD, and ARM. It is feared that this could affect computers and devices from the last 10 years.
Microsoft, Apple, and Linux have all issued patches and Apple has said that all iPhones and iPads are affected by the Meltdown flaw, other than the devices running the newest version of OS, 10.13.2. It has been said that Google and Intel were planning to disclose the serious issue when the fixes were available, however, it was reported sooner by a tech news website.
Since the reported bug, it is highly likely that your computer has run updates to resolve the issue. However, it has been claimed that once the patches have been installed, they could slow computer systems down by up to 30%, although Intel has stated that any slowdowns will be “workload-dependent”.