Spectre and Meltdown Explained in a PowerPoint Presentation

One of the most dangerous exploits to come to light in recent years has been the Meltdown and Spectre exploit. This exploit points towards the vulnerabilities in processors, in particular most Intel processors since 1995. Other processors affected by the exploit include; AMD and ARM. Recently, Spectre and Meltdown was explained in a PowerPoint presentation by Jon Masters, who is ARM’s Red Hat Chief.


[Image Courtesy: PCGamer]

Why is Spectre & Meltdown Dangerous?

To put it plainly, this exploit allows hackers to steal sensitive user data that has been recently processed on a computer. While one program is not supposed to read data from another, a malware can use the vulnerability to grab sensitive user information. Such information can include your passwords, messenger chats, emails, photos, etc.

It’s not just computers that have been affected by this exploit but also mobile devices, such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices, as well as cloud services.

There have been software patches released and a lot of work is underway to plug the loopholes that can lead to use of this exploit. However, a lot of questions are being raised regarding the weaknesses in Intel processors and if there is a need by companies to switch to competitors like AMD. Currently, it is estimated that Intel chips are used in 98% of data centers, which makes the scope of the exploit all the more dangerous.

Spectre and Meltdown Explained

If you’re interested in in briefing your team regarding the Spectre and Meltdown exploit and intend to present your own deck, you might want to check out Jon Master’s 90 slide presentation. While the presentation is more useful for IT professionals, even common users can also grasp some of the basic threats of Meltdown and Spectre and if need be, warn their team about it.

You can see the PDF version of the presentation from here: Exploiting modern microarchitectures: Meltdown, Spectre, and other attacks.

About Farshad

IT professional, communications specialist and Blogger!

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