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Computer researchers have recently found out that the main chip in most modern computers—the CPU—has a hardware bug. It’s a design flaw in the hardware that has been there for years. This is a big deal because it affects almost every computer on your network, including your workstations and all your servers.

This hardware bug allows malicious programs to steal data that is being processed in your computer memory. Normally, applications are not able to do that because they are isolated from each other and the Operating System. This hardware bug breaks that isolation.

Therefore, if the bad guys are able to get malicious software running on your computer, they can get access to your passwords stored in a password manager/browser, your emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents. Not good.

The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, revealed Jan. 3, could let attackers capture information they shouldn’t be able to access, like those passwords and keys. As a result, an attack on a computer chip can turn into a serious security concern.

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