It looks like Intel’s problems with Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities aren’t over yet.
A newly discovered hardware vulnerability affects Windows systems running on Intel and AMD processors built after 2012. It is said that this new exploit is based on the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, and is able to bypass all previous security patches released for it.
Spectre and Meltdown were two hardware vulnerabilities that were discovered back in January 2018. These vulnerabilities were able to compromise sensitive data like passwords and encryption keys.
Intel, AMD, and ARM chips were affected by these security flaws. AMD and ARM chips weren’t as badly affected as Intel, as Intel had to reduce performance on its processors to patch them.
The newly discovered vulnerability is a Spectre variant called SWAPGS. Attackers using this new exploit can secretly monitor and steal sensitive information without leaving any traces of a hardware attack.
This exploit was discovered by Bitdefender, who worked with Intel, Microsoft, and others to release an update to fix the bug.
Keep Your Systems Up to Date
While the vulnerability is able to bypass all previously released patches, you can protect yourself by applying the latest security update that was released in July.
A spokesperson from Microsoft said,
We’re aware of this industry-wide issue and have been working closely with affected chip manufacturers and industry partners to develop and test mitigations to protect our customers. We released security updates in July and customers who have Windows Update enabled and applied the security updates are protected automatically.
AMD, on the other hand, claims that their hardware is not vulnerable to SWAPGS attacks.
In any case, users are advised to keep their devices up to date with the latest security patches and updates.