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Flaws in Microchips Expose Nearly All Computing Devices

Security researchers revealed Wednesday security flaws in Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings chips that could allow hackers to access sensitive information such as passwords.

The main flaws are known as Meltdown and Spectre. According to Reuters, the first one affects Intel chips letting hackers access the computer’s memory and steal passwords, and the second affects the three companies previously mentioned allowing hackers to trick applications into giving secret information.

Daniel Gruss, one of the researchers who discovered the Meltdown flaw, told Reuters it is “probably one of the worst CPU bugs ever found.” 

Spectre, the broader bug that applies to nearly all computing devices, is harder for hackers to take advantage of but less easily patched and will be a bigger problem in the long term, he said.

The problems will require users to download a patch and update operating systems in order to secure their information from any potential attack.

According to Google, Android phones with the latest security updates should be protected. Meanwhile Apple said it will release a fix for the Safari web browser on its iPhones, iPads and Macs within days.

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