Boffins split on whether Spectre fix needs tweaked hardware

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Analysis Processor security experts – including one cited in the Meltdown paper – are split on whether the resolution of the Spectre vulnerability may need to involve hardware modifications or the software defences being rolled out are adequate.

The Meltdown vulnerability, which by contrast is already comprehensively defended against, could become the focus of malware attacking the operations of processors on unpatched systems, experts warn.

“The theory behind Spectre and Meltdown is hard to understand,” according to Anders Fogh, a security researcher at G-Data and expert in processor security. “If it was used in the past it was only in advanced attacks. Now that research has been released, Meltdown is likely to be abused by commodity malware relatively quickly.”

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