As the vulnerability of Meltdown and the Spectre can affect the security of cryptocurrency wallets

Last week was discovered two significant software errors that caused serious concern technology community. The vulnerability, dubbed Meltdown and the Spectre, exploit weaknesses in most modern processors (CPUs) Intel, AMD and ARM, installed on most PCs, smartphones and servers in the world.

These findings put a question over the security of private data worldwide, resulting in the cryptocurrency community think about how these vulnerabilities can affect the security of your personal wallets and exchanges.

Implications for the crypto community

Attacks on vulnerabilities of Meltdown and the Spectre can affect information processing chips manufactured by Intel, AMD and ARM. Their discoverers named this vulnerability «the worst errors of the CPU, which was ever discovered». According to researchers, during the attack can also be stolen by data from services and applications that process information with graphics processors computer:

«These hardware vulnerabilities could allow programs to steal the data that are currently being processed on the computer. While programs usually are not allowed to read information from other programs, a malicious program can use Meltdown and the Spectre to capture the keys stored in the memory of other running programs, including cryptocurrency wallets. It can be your passwords stored in the password Manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages, and even important business documents.»

Michael Schwarz (Michael Schwarz), one of those who found vulnerability shows in his Twitter, how it works

These vulnerabilities can have adverse consequences for investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. As noted in the article CoinKorea, «the biggest problem is that if an attacker exploits a vulnerability, he can’t be blocked by encryption or preventive action.» Thus, encrypted wallets can provide only a small protection against such hacks, even if cryptocurrency investors take maximum precautions.

Vulnerability can also create obstacles to exchanges – they’re doing it. Last week the exchange Bittrex said
in his Twitter account that your wallet has been temporarily limited, while your were reviewed by another Microsoft cloud service Azure to protect against vulnerabilities in the security system. Bittrex, as many exchange, uses the cloud to store reserve funds hot wallet for their customers.

Keeping a register with private keys in such a Central location surprised many members of the community because cloud services are also vulnerable to Meltdown and the Spectre, as a personal device.

Trouble Intel

Despite the fact that the news of the vulnerability came just last week, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich (Brian Krzanich) said
in an interview with CNBC that the company «learned about this problem some time ago from Google research». According to the report
blog Google Cloud, Project Zero is one of the high-tech research groups Google knew about the vulnerability in June last year.

Many rightly believe that seven months ago is more than «some time ago», according to Krzanich. The situation is complicated by the fact that Krzanich in November last year sold the shares and options of Intel at $ 24 million. After the sale, the CEO is 250 000 shares – the minimum number, in accordance with his employment agreement with the company.

A spokesman for the company said that the sale is not associated with the Meltdown and the Spectre, and that Krzanich «continues to hold the shares in accordance with the corporate guidelines.»

As you can to protect yourself

For the most common operating systems available software patches to protect against Meltdown and the Spectre, and experts recommend that users immediately update their system. In addition, if you are worried about the safety of their cryptocurrency investment, it is better never to leave a significant amount of money on the stock exchange over a long period of time.

If you care about your funds, there are a number of storage options that provide enhanced security compared to software and web wallets. If you want your money to be fully protected from technological vulnerabilities, it is one of the safest options a paper wallet. Just do a backup of their private keys and store them in a safe place, without risking to lose them. In addition, hardware wallets also provide enough protection from malware, hackers and system vulnerabilities.

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