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Spectre, Google, and the Universal Read Gadget
Spectre, a seemingly never-ending menace to processors, is back in the limelight once again thanks to the Universal Read Gadget. First seen at the start of 2018, Spectre emerged alongside Meltdown as a major potential threat to people’s system security. Meltdown and Spectre. Meltdown targeted Intel processors and required a malicious process running on the system to interact with it. Spectre could be launched from browsers via a script. As these threats were targeting hardware flaws in the CPU, they were difficult to address and required BIOS updates and some other things to ensure a safe online experience. As per our original blog: This is not a great situation for everyone to suddenly find themselves in. Manufacturers were caught on the backfoot and customers rightly demanded a solution. If this is the part where you’re thinking, “What caused this again?” then you’re in luck. Speculative patching woes. The issues came from something called “speculative execution.” As we said in this follow up blog about patching difficulties: Four variants existed across Spectre and Meltdown, with Intel, IBM, ARM, and AMD being snagged by Spectre and “just” Intel being caught up by Meltdown.
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