By now, you’ve likely heard about Spectre and Meltdown bugs in Intel Hardware. And it’s not just Intel Hardware. And they doesn’t just affect your laptop.
Microsoft (Windows), Google (Android/Smartphone), Apple (iPhone), etc have been busy and have sent up updates to your system. So you should be good to go! Or are you?
PC Magazine let me know that Gibson Research had created a program (app) to check your Windows system. First I’d like to thank both companies for leading me to this valuable tool. Second, I’d like to request that they both hire a few more people to make this information user-friendly. Gibson Research said their product was easy to understand. It could have been a little easier. I’m sure it’s clear if you do that sort of thing everyday, but not for the average computer user. I’m a computer geek and it took me a few moments to get it.
So first, go to the Gibson Research link, then ignore this picture:
Go a little bit below that to where it says: File stats for: InSpectre, and click on the green button . When it has downloaded onto your system, go to your Downloads folder and run InSpectre.exe – double click on it.
Now you’ll see the picture above when InSpectre.exe has finished running – runs very quickly. You can ignore most of what it’s saying.
The first thing, it told me was
Vulnerable to Meltdown: No
Vulnerable to Spectre: Yes
I should hope the Performance is good, it’s a fairly new laptop.
The Vulnerable to Spectre: Yes rather scared me. Take a breath. Breathe!
If you got No, No, Good – you’re good to go – congrats!
If not, scroll down to where it says This system’s present situation: (in italics). In my case there was a green section for Meltdown because my laptop wasn’t vulnerable because Windows update to patch that problem had taken place.
Then there was a red section for Spectre because my laptop was still vulnerable. My hardware had not been updated (or patched with software). What I think this section was trying to say was that Microsoft hadn’t fixed this because it would slow down my laptop too much, but that Windows would keep the Spectre bug under control, should anybody try to start it up. I gleaned this from the 3rd green paragraph under the red paragraph.
After the red section there was another green section which basically said, system performance was still good, even with the patches for these potential bugs. My wife’s system performance was slower – she has an older computer. She hasn’t noticed it being any slower, so we’re good on that score. If she does, about the only choice I’ll have will be to buy her a new computer and it’s my understanding that even new computers are susceptible to these bugs.
The Gibson Research software theoretically lets you disable a protection if it’s turned on. I wouldn’t suggest doing that, not even on your worst enemy’s computer. The fewer people who are susceptible to these viruses, the better. They’re catching and no doubt morph, just like the flu.
On a more pleasant note. If you’ve been good and restarting your computer every so often so Windows can update itself, you can probably ignore all this and assume you’re good to go. It will probably be much less of a headache.