18. Januar 2018

Am I immune against Spectre and Meltdown?

I still have to find out how the hardware vulnerabilities – dramatically named “Spectre” and “Meltdown” – affect you really. The threat’s mechanism seems to  be explained by Matt Klein here.
   The effect of preventive measures in the operating system may be a slowdown of your PC, unfeelable to most but visible to gamers and other speed fans.
   Microsoft and Apple have published patches that ought to protect you. I’ll concentrate on Windows and the question: “Are these patches installed in your system?” Github (https://github.com/ionescu007/SpecuCheck) say they can tell you, © Alex Ionescu.

Get the test program “SpecuCheck.exe” and save it on your PC, perhaps on a memory stick to later show off as well. I got mine from https://github.com/ionescu007/SpecuCheck/releases as “SpecuCheck.exe”, 90 kByte (and stored it along with my pictures, as I wasn’t allowed to place it at C:).
   Then run this program in a Dos box (Start, cmd). – You might have to switch your “current directory” (CD) to where SpecuCheck is before.
   On my Thinkpad X61s with Windows 7 professional Service Pack 1, running on an Intel dual CPU L7500 (see Systemsteuerung\System und Sicherheit\System) I got as result:

Github says: “If you see the textYour system either does not have the appropriate patch, or it may not support the information class required’ – then this indicates that your system is not currently patched to mitigate against these vulnerabilities”. It does not say this, so I guess I’m all right. For more explanation (and the Apple world) see Github.
   Finally note that you processor has not been modified. The way to use its vulnerabilty may have been blocked – who knows for sure? –, thus making your system possibly slower, that’s all.

Another “Spectre”
• Google’s Project Zero (this vulnerability found and described)
Alex Ionescu’s blog
Meldtdown and Spectre explained
• Alternative test “InSpectre” (124 kByte), see below
Microsoft advisory
“Github” on the subject
• The speed question (Win 10 suggested), up to 10%. 
Stefan Betschon zum Thema (deutsch)
Heise zum Thema (deutsch)

From https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm

“Unfortunately, this system will be open to exploitation of the SPECTRE vul­ne­ra­bility until and un­less its BIOS and CPU microcode are updated.” 

< Click to start.

   Note that you can disable or re-enable Meltdown protection with this tool using the pop-up results display.

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