Testing and patching Meltdown and Spectre exploits

In this tutorial we are going to test if your computer is vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre, and how you can protect your computer with patches and updates. If you are here, you already might know what these exploits are, but if you don’t, here is easy explanation.

 

Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware vulnerabilities allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This might include your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.

Meltdown and Spectre work on personal computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud. Depending on the cloud provider’s infrastructure, it might be possible to steal data from other customers.

 

Testing computer Spectre and Meltdown vulnerability status

1. Download latest InSpectre from this link https://www.grc.com/files/InSpectre.exe . If download link doesn’t work, go here https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm . Start InSpectre.exe by right clicking it and select Run as administrator.

 

2. This was status of my Windows 10 with Intel i7-2600K. For some reason i didn’t get patch for these exploits automatically from Windows update.

 

 

Fixing Meltdown and Spectre with Windows Update

1. Open start menu and write windows update and select Check for updates from list.

 

2. Click Check for updates and install all updates you can install. After installing restart your computer and open InSpectre.exe again and check your status. If status hasn’t changed, proceed to manual patching.

 

Fixing Meltdown and Spectre manually with patches

1. Open start menu and write winver and select winver from list.

 

2. This is your windows version and build number next to it. You will need this information in next step.

 

3. You got your windows version in previous step, and now you have to download right patch for your windows below. When your download has completed, install patch, reboot computer, and start InSpectre.exe again and check your protection status.

Windows 10 Version 1709 (KB4056892) – https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4056892
Windows 10 Version 1703 (KB4056891) – https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=kb4056891
Windows 10 Version 1607 (KB4056890) – https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4056890
Windows 10 Version 1511 (KB4056888) – https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4056888
Windows 10 Version 1507 (KB4056893) – https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4056893

 

Updating latest BIOS

Last but not least, you have to update your BIOS to latest version. If your motherboard is old (like mine), it is possible that there isn’t any update available (yet?). I’m not linking here all motherboard manufacturers so you have to go to your manufacturers site for new BIOS update.

If you don’t know what motherboard and bios version you have. Download latest CPU-Z from this link http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/cpu-z/cpu-z_1.82-en.exe . If link doesn’t work, go here https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html . Install and start CPU-Z and select Mainboard -tab . From there you can see all information that you need.

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