Sunday 8 December 2019

Which of my gadgets will be hit by the Meltdown and Spectre bugs?

Stock photo
Stock photo

1. Smartphone. Both Apple and Google say iPhones and Android phones (such as those by Samsung) can be affected.

Both companies have begun rolling out protective patches, which will be included in the normal updates that you see. There's arguably a bigger risk to Android phones here, as far more of these do not run the latest operating system version.

2. iPad

Apple has said iPads could be affected but its updates should protect them. Google says roughly the same about tablets running its system. Tablets running Windows (such as the Surface Pro) are basically PCs, and likely to be more vulnerable.

3. PC

This is the main type of computer at risk from the 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' flaws. Both Windows and Mac PCs are vulnerable. The advice here is to implement any update coming through. If you're using an older version of the operating system (such as Windows 7 or Mac OS Yosemite), update to the latest one for best protection.

4. Smartwatch or fitness tracker

These are generally held not to be at risk. However, Apple has said it will be including precautionary measures in the next version of Watch OS.

5. Xbox or PlayStation

Microsoft says the Xbox definitely isn't affected. Sony, which has had its own security problems in recent years, hasn't yet clarified whether PlayStations might be vulnerable, but it is currently thought they are not at risk.

Irish Independent

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