How to protect your Windows PCs from Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities

If you’re not living under the rock then you must be familiar about the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that have taken the whole world by shock. Both of these vulnerabilities target the CPU directly to either inject malware or steal data from PC.

Affected chips include those manufactured by Intel, AMD, and ARM, which means all devices running Windows operating systems are potentially vulnerable (e.g., desktops, laptops, cloud servers, and smartphones). Devices running other operating systems such as Android, Chrome, iOS, and MacOS are also affected. We advise customers running these operating systems to seek guidance from those vendors.

– Microsoft

As soon as they came to light, most of the manufacturers started working and pushing out patches to fix the issue with AMD failing miserably by accidentally rendering PCs unbootable after the patch. Nevertheless, Microsoft came out with their own guide to help users make sure they aren’t targeted by the vulnerabilities.

As of January 3, 2018, Microsoft released several updates to help mitigate these vulnerabilities and help protect customers. We have also deployed updates to secure our cloud services and Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers. We are continuing to work closely with industry partners including chip makers, device manufacturers, and app vendors.

– Microsoft

Apart from this information, Microsoft also detailed steps users can follow to make sure they are safe. This included updating Windows, Antivirus and installing patches for the vulnerability. Microsoft has shared details to update Windows Defender to make sure you’re safe. For people using third party Antivirus need to go to the vendor’s website and download the updates. Apart from this, Microsoft also shared steps one needs to follow to be safe.

  1. Keep your Windows device up to date by turning on automatic updates.
  2. Check that you’ve installed the January 2018 Windows operating system security update from Microsoft. If automatic updates are turned on, the updates should be automatically delivered to you, but you should still confirm that they’re installed. For instructions, see Windows Update: FAQ
  3. Install available hardware (firmware) updates from your device manufacturer. All customers will need to check with their device manufacturer to download and install their device specific hardware update. See below for a list of device manufacturer websites.

Coming to the last step, you need to head to your OEM specific website and download patches for your PC to fix the vulnerability. You can head below to take a look at the OEM list and respective webpages where you can get details on how to download patches.

Acer https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support
Asus https://www.asus.com/News/YQ3Cr4OYKdZTwnQK
Dell https://www.dell.com/support/meltdown-spectre
Fujitsu
HP https://support.hp.com/document/c05869091
HPE http://h22208.www2.hpe.com/eginfolib/securityalerts/SCAM/Side_Channel_Analysis_Method.html
Huawei http://www.huawei.com/au/psirt/security-notices/huawei-sn-20180104-01-intel-en
Lenovo https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/len-18282
LG https://www.lg.com/us/support
Panasonic https://pc-dl.panasonic.co.jp/itn/vuln/g18-001.html
Samsung https://www.samsung.com/us/support/
Surface https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4073065/surface-guidance-to-protect-against-speculative-execution-side-channel
Toshiba https://support.toshiba.com/
 Vaio  https://vaio.com/support/

Apart from this, Microsoft also shared details in case your OEM wasn’t mentioned in the above list. The company says:

You will need to check with your device manufacturer for firmware updates. If your device manufacturer is not listed in the table, contact your OEM directly.

We hope this comprehensive guide will help you to keep yourself safe from Meltdown and Spectre. If you have any questions or would like to share something, you can always head to the comments section below.

Via: Microsoft Support 

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