Computer, iPad and phone vulnerabilities: Spectre and Meltdown

Recently the world learned of a major vulnerability in virtually all computer-based systems which could allow a hacker to steal information like usernames and passwords when accessing Internet sites and services.  These are being referred to as “Spectre” and “Meltdown.”

 

These vulnerabilities affect all Windows and MacIntosh computers, Android phones and iPhones, iPads and Android tablets.  While this is a hardware flaw which can’t be directly corrected, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and other major vendors have all released security patches to block access to this vulnerability.

 

All Martinez Unified computers are set to automatically receive and install these updates.  We have verified that our update processes are all working correctly.  However, in some cases, you may be prompted to let your computer or browser restart in order to allow the update to complete.  It is important that you allow your computer to complete these updates to block this vulnerability.  Please note that all web-browsers (Firefox, Chrome) must install their own updates in order to fully secure your computer.

 

I highly recommend that you also check your personal devices, including smartphones, tablets, and home computers, in order to ensure that your updates are getting properly installed.  A good tutorial for checking this on Windows computers may be found at https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-check-for-install-windows-updates-2624596.  Similar instructions for Mac’s can be found at http://www.macinstruct.com/node/207.

 

Thanks for maintaining safe computing practices!

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