Meltdown affects a wide range of systems. At the time of disclosure, this included all devices running any but the most recent and patched versions of iOS ,  Linux ,   macOS ,  or Windows. Accordingly, many servers and cloud services were impacted,  as well as a potential majority of smart devices and embedded devices using ARM based processors mobile devices, smart TVs, printers and others , including a wide range of networking equipment. A purely software workaround to Meltdown has been assessed as slowing computers between 5 and 30 percent in certain specialized workloads,  although companies responsible for software correction of the exploit are reporting minimal impact from general benchmark testing. It was disclosed in conjunction with another exploit, Spectre , with which it shares some, but not all characteristics. The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are considered "catastrophic" by security analysts.
Another Meltdown, Spectre security scare: Data-leaking holes riddle Intel, AMD, Arm chips
Silent Windows update patched side channel that leaked data from Intel CPUs | Ars Technica
Optimize the employee experience from the offer process through every phase of the employee lifecycle. SilkRoad RedCarpet Onboarding helps companies of all sizes and complexities attract, retain and grow critical talent in a hyper-competitive market. We create streamlined, innovative, digital solutions that engage, align and empower employees to be successful today and in the future with experiences for every inflection point in the employee journey, including transfers or promotions, leaves of absence , mergers and acquisitions, offboarding and rehired employees. SilkRoad Technology solutions provide the foundation to improve talent and business performance. SilkRoad empowers clients to provide clarity, alignment and enablement to employees, accelerating revenue and effectively managing costs and risks in the midst of workforce transformation.
Silent Windows update patched side channel that leaked data from Intel CPUs
Spectre is a vulnerability that affects modern microprocessors that perform branch prediction. For example, if the pattern of memory accesses performed by such speculative execution depends on private data, the resulting state of the data cache constitutes a side channel through which an attacker may be able to extract information about the private data using a timing attack. A website can read data stored in the browser for another website, or the browser's memory itself. In early , Intel reported that it would redesign its CPUs to help protect against the Spectre and related Meltdown vulnerabilities especially, Spectre variant 2 and Meltdown, but not Spectre variant 1.
In January , the entire computer industry was put on alert by two new processor vulnerabilities dubbed Meltdown and Spectre that defeated the fundamental OS security boundaries separating kernel and user space memory. The flaws stemmed from a performance feature of modern CPUs known as speculative execution and mitigating them required one of the biggest patch coordination efforts in history, involving CPU makers, device manufacturers and operating system vendors. Meltdown and Spectre were certainly not the first vulnerabilities to result from a hardware design decision, but their widespread impact sparked the interest of the security research community into such flaws.