Our firm recently became aware of two new computer security vulnerabilities, global in scope and affecting nearly every computer processor in the modern computing world. These vulnerabilities could allow hackers to steal data, including passwords and other sensitive information from PCs, servers, networks, and mobile devices. The vulnerabilities, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre, affect nearly every computer made in the last 20 years. We are taking action to protect our networks and data. I recommend that you do also.
What You Can Do
- Key elements focused on protecting against these threats include:
- Enabling Windows auto-update (and Chrome browser auto-update) on PCs to ensure vital security patches are applied and installing the latest anti-virus software.
- Applying the latest Mobile device (iPads, Smartphones) updates as they are released by vendors (i.e. Apple, Android).
- Following up with other software vendors used (including for browsers such as Chrome) to determine when to apply any necessary patches
- Ensuring any third technology partners or subcontractors are aware of this issue and engaged in patching their systems
- Working with qualified technology personnel to assist with more complex technology including firewalls, switches, servers and wireless devices to ensure they apply the necessary security patches and firmware update
2. Be alert! Common exploitation techniques to infect PCs and your network can start with phishing email and/or infected file downloads from malicious websites.
- Be wary of unexpected emails especially if they contain suspicious links and/or attachments or prompt you to enable macros to view its content.
- Be alert and aware of social engineering schemes often used by cyber attackers (e.g., “Microsoft” calling to install software on your PC).
3. Protect Yourself.
- Guardian maintains a webpage with links and resources on how you can protect yourself. Information contained within this page include protecting your phone and PC, being aware of scams, and monitoring your financial accounts.
- This page can be found by visiting https://www.guardianlife.com/protecting-your-information
More information about Meltdown and Spectre can be found here: https://meltdownattack.com/