Meltdown and Spectre are computer processor flaws that can be used to access the data they store – like passwords or personal data.

The biggest problem with this processor vulnerability is how widespread it is – not only does it affect multiple operating systems, it also affects all devices with processors. This means your phone and tablet are just as vulnerable as your laptop or desktop.

Spectre and Meltdown

We are updating LSE systems and LSE-owned devices as and when patches become available. You do not need to do anything with a device that’s owned and managed by LSE, but you will need to update your personal-owned devices to help protect against the bug.

Protecting your personal devices

Software patches exist for Meltdown, so make sure you’ve taken steps to protect your devices.

You will need to make sure you are running the most recent version of your operating system, and update it with the latest security updates. You’ll need to do this for all of your personally-owned devices – including phones and tablets.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Microsoft
    Microsoft has issued a patch for Windows 10, with more expected. If you’re a Windows user, turn on automatic updates to make sure you have the latest version of the patch.
  • Apple
    Apple has already patched one of the flaws in in MacOS 10.3.2, so make sure your device is running this version of the operating system. Other updates are expected soon.
  • Linux
    Patches have also been released for some flavours of Linux, with further patches expected soon. Keep your device updated to ensure you have the latest version of the patch.

At the moment, patches don’t exist for Spectre, but fixes are being worked on. Keeping your devices updated will mean you’ll get any future patches as they’re released.

Cloud-based service providers such as Microsoft and Amazon have issued statements outlining their approaches to mitigating the effects of Meltdown and Spectre.

If you have any questions about this vulnerability or would like further advice, please contact the IT Service Desk:

You can also visit the IMT Walk In Centre or the Laptop Surgery on the 1st floor of the Library.