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These vulnerabilities “break down barriers between user mode and kernel mode and between different processes running on the same device, allowing a rogue process (which could be triggered by a website) to access memory that it shouldn't have access to.” (source)
Although these weaknesses currently provide no reason to panic, they are absolutely something that should be on any IT professional’s radar. This currently affects desktops, laptops, cloud servers, and even smartphones. Essentially all modern processors. (Intel, AMD, and ARM processors have been verified.)
Currently, there are no documented cases of this exploit being utilized, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t prepare ourselves.
Currently, all operating systems are potentially affected by this. To safeguard your environment, the following precautionary steps can be taken. Please read and fully understand the implications that applying these fixes will have on your environment. There are currently two major concerns with applying fixes to these operating systems.
Microsoft has reached out to anti-virus providers asking to set a specific registry key when the software supports the Microsoft patch. For more information about the registry entry, please see the Microsoft support document here.
Currently, Microsoft is not releasing a list of anti-virus vendors that are not compatible with the patches, but a community security expert has compiled a list of AV software and its current support state as of January 04, 2018. This link will take you to the google doc provided by @GossiTheDog.
See original Twitter message here.
Intel is currently unable to address this exploit in OS X with a firmware update. Developers at Apple are already underway implementing code that will, in fact, fix the issue. This code is currently called “Double Map." This code has already been implemented in OS 10.13.2, with expected improvements in 10.13.3.
As versions of Linux vary, there is not currently one source for details, but we have found that the current enterprise providers do not yet have a solution. Fixes will be addressed in future kernel updates.
To see Meltdown in action, check out this video!
Post co-authored by Cris Weber, Lead Development architect and Adam Eaddy, Productive Systems Management Consultant.