On January 3, a group of cybersecurity experts announced the existence of two security flaws affecting virtually every microprocessor on the planet, codenamed ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’: the Meltdown exploit affects computer processors that were built by Intel over the past decade, used in the majority of consumers’ personal computers, and over 90 percent of the world’s computer servers; Spectre is somewhat less dangerous, but is more widespread, as it affects not only Intel processors, but also those of their main competitor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Britain’s Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) chips. These vulnerabilities could potentially allow hackers to access personal data from computers, mobile devices, smart TVs, and cloud servers around the world.
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