Going Commando In the Digital Age

A note on “security”. Since we now know about the Spectre flaw making CPUs built in the last fifteen years unsecured AND we know about the WPA2 wifi wireless protocol Krack, Key Reinstallation AttaCK, vulnerability, there is NO real security.

When our wireless connections are as secure and a toddler’s toy box and our CPUs offer access to the keys to the kingdom, we can not say ANYTHING is secure. There are those saying that the CPU problem will require new hardware. Okay, what hardware are they planning on buying? Since everything built in the last 15 years is vulnerable, we will need to wait for all new processors. Those processors are going to have to change the way information is exchanged between processes… Can you say alpha or maybe beta hardware? Anyone who trusts the first generation of any technology is out of their mind. A massive change to the internals of CPUs is going to be a BIG gamble!

I believe the CPU issue will be solved in three to five years. The wifi issue may actually take a little longer, but most business users will be up to snuff in five years.

This is going to take a long time to fix.

Imagine the Spectre of No Security

Spectre processor flaw graphic

Spectre processor flaw

CNN Tech has the best video about the issue. Click on it and get a quick overview.

If you would like something a bit more technical, but readable, melddown.com has the information you are looking for.

Ever wonder what would happen in a secure facility if all of the keys were compromised and anyone could enter or leave at any time without any security? You don’t really need to think about it, you are now living it.

Enhanced details about the security issues have confirmed the worse case scenarios. Intel and AMD are affected. Pretty much any chip made in the last fifteen years is vulnerable. There are two attacks, Meltdown and Spectre. Meltdown is exclusive to Intel.

Since Spectre affects computers, cellphones and God knows what else, we will concentrate on it. Put simply, a design decision 15 years ago, that sped up processing, is now a major hardware vulnerablity. Want to fix it, you just need to change the physical design of the processor. No, I am not kidding. If you own a computer purchased in the last fifteen years, you are vulnerable.

If you wonder who knew what when, know that the Intel CEO sold his stock in November!

I can not emphasize this enough. Backup, backup, backup, and yes, backup. The only way to approach this disaster is with a flexibility. I believe that the patch will be the death of a thousand cuts. In addition to dealing with Spectre, computer users and professionals will be forced to deal with a “patch” that will undoubtably add all new nightmares of its own.

We are living in interesting times!

Meltdown processor flaw graphic

Meltdown processor flaw