Exploring Spectre And Meltdown Processor Security Flaws

How Meltdown Works

The report of “The Guardian” has explained about Spectre and Meltdown processor security flaws. Meltdown enables the hackers to avoid the hardware barrier among applications as well as the core memory of the computer which is generally highly secured. On the other hand, Spectre enables the hackers to trick error-free applications top provide secret information. Meltdown is considered as one of the worst CPU bugs because any application that runs could steal data such as JavaScript from a webpage. While, hackers could not easily take advantage of Spectre but it is considered as difficult to be fixed and are expected to become huge problem in future. Meltdown is currently affecting Intel chips except the Itanium and Atom chips manufactured before 2013, while Spectre affects all the modern processors. All the sensitive information stored in memory through kernel and all are at risks due to Meltdown. Spectre tricks normal applications to provide sensitive data due to which anything processed through application could easily be stolen which include passwords and other essential data.  Therefore, the resource is useful because it explains about the security flaws and how does they affect Intel chips along with what can be done to avoid such security flaws. In addition, the article stated that all the computing devices get affected by Spectre such as computers, laptops, tablets and even cloud computing devices but only a few low power devices which include Internet of Things are unaffected (Gibbs, 2018).

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The Macintosh System 1.0 was introduced as the first operating system GUI which had several features of modern operating system. This operating system provided the Mac with a competitive edge in the computer market. Before this, the commands used to be typed on computers through typing commands at a command prompt. Initially, users could access their files and move items to the trash. Through it, the windows could be moved around with the mouse as well as folders and files could be copied by dragging and dropping on the target location. In desktop of System 1, the main difference is the lines on the Trash while at Menu Bar, there is no label menu. The Desk Accessories included with System 1 were alarm clock, calculator, control panel, key Caps and such others. The Alarm Clock remained unchanged till System 6, in the Control Panel, snap-ins could not be added, and Key Caps are useless because on pressing modifier key, Key Caps do not change to show special characters linked with the modifier. Therefore, System 1 is considered to be as good operating system and it was more stable in comparison to Windows 1.0. The most important features that System 1contain was its capacity to overlap windows and provided variety of basic features that make the Mac OS still special (Conachey, 2005). The resource is significant as it provides knowledge about the innovative Macintosh System 1.0.   

According to McClelland (2017), there are various LPWAN technologies and standards such as LoRa, SigFox, RPMA, Weightless, and Symphony Link. As only one platform or technology that implements a LPWAN is required to be discussed, SigFox which was established in 2009 will be discussed. SigFox is based in Labege situated in France. It has been the huge grip in the LPWAN space or is highly recognized because of its successful marketing campaigns held in Europe (Song et al., 2017). SigFox utilizes proprietary technology utilizing less modulation rate in order to achieve extended range.  The choice of design selected by SigFox has made it an outstanding selection for the applications wherein, the system requires sending occasional and small amount of data. Its most possible applications will include parking sensors, smart garbage cans, water meters and such others. The drawbacks associated with it include sending data reverse to the sensors or devices are strictly limited as well as signal interference could develop a severe issue. The resource is highly significant from the point of view of topic because it provides information related to the technology that implements a LPWAN. It provides pros and cons of the LPWAN technology along with the technical information regarding them (McClelland, 2017).  

How Spectre Works

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) has made clear difference between two unlike phases of a voice call (Stallings, 2003). The foremost phase is known as “call setup” and comprises of all the particulars required to establish communication between two telephones after which, “data transfer” phase is entered by using completely different protocols family in order to transfer the voice packets between the two phones. SIP is considered to be as setup protocol which operates at the application layer as well as a highly flexible protocol. It had been designed for the purpose of setting up actual software sessions among the participants such as its use to set up video and audio multicast meetings or for instantaneous messaging conferences. From the point of view of VoIP, there are five major functions within SIP, which are session setup, location and registration of user, availability and capabilities of user and session management. The easy format of SIP has made its application and debugging easier in comparison to any other similar protocols (Network World, 2004).  Therefore, the resource provides us with the essential information required for the purpose of understanding about the SIP protocol as well as describes about the functioning of the protocol.

The Blockchain requires a method to identify who will develop the next block of the data, for which two strategies are prevalent i.e. proof of work as well as proof of stake. Both these strategies indiscriminately allot the authority to add new blocks. However, proof of work provides inclination to high computing power (Rosic, 2016). On the other hand, proof of stake possesses various versions, some of which are wildly complex and provides preference to more coins. The network operators known as block signers select few transactions to authenticate and examine that the digital signatures to be correct and there are sufficient coins for invited transactions. After it, new transactions are added to new data block in order to be added to the blockchain. The bitcoin miner makes a hash through a specific dataset and if hash does not start with zero, the hash function is rerun by utilizing different random number and if peercoin block signer makes hash through dataset including coin age. If it does not start with specific number of zeros, the function is rerun by the use of new time stamp. In this way, Blockchains function and the resource is beneficial as it provides information about the functioning of Blockchains (Peck, 2017).     

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According to Lohr (2017), Net neutrality is the concept that internet service providers such as Comcast and Verzion are required to treat all the content flow through cables as well as cell towers in an equal manner (Lohr, 2017). The worry is that the internet would become costlier technology having two tiers i.e. having quick service or not having. The high-speed lane would be engaged through media companies, big internet, and wealthy families and others would have slow lane. Big internet-based companies such as Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook will easily pay higher rents due to which, such internet companies have been in top lists regarding net neutrality (Finley, 2018). However, prices increase might be expensive for the start-ups as well as new voices in media or entertainment industry. For the government supported guarantee of equal access, non-governmental organizations, public interest groups, and thousands of local citizens contacted the FCC for the purpose of net neutrality. In this context, the FCC passed net neutrality principles following the utility style telecommunications law known as Title 2 dated 1934. Therefore, the contravention of net neutrality affects individual users as well as business users of internet. The resource utilized provides us with the useful information related to the net neutrality.

Affected Devices

According to the report of Forbes (2016), a quarter of jobs that are presently available would be replaced by smart software in the next few years (James, 2018). The advances in ICT and knowledge of machines would create loss of jobs in healthcare industry such as MRI scans, robotic controlled pharmacies, automatic anesthesia and such others. In insurance sector, the jobs of insurance brokers and insurance underwriters for determination of insurance related decisions. In a similar manner, in architectural sector, the jobs of architects such as designing and applying architectural skills are based on automated machines. In financial and sports reporting, which are based on data and numbers, have become automated due to machine learning tools. The use of ATMs have already replaced bank tellers and the process of checking tax returns and identifying frauds in tax related matters has also become automated (Marr, 2016). Thus, such kind of technological advancements are not creating as many jobs as they are eliminating. Therefore, the report by Marr has provided us with the information related to professional jobs that are under threat of ICT advancement. In addition, it is expected that the reliance on ICT tools will reduce the number of human resources in future.  

Machine learning is a data analysis procedure that mechanizes analytical model structure as well as a division of artificial intelligence relying on the concept that systems learn through data, recognize patterns, as well as take decisions with fewer interventions of humans. With majority of machine learning algorithms been in use, the ability to automatic application of complicated mathematical calculations to big data is a huge development. Majority of industries performing on huge amount of data have become familiar with the importance of machine learning technology.  The finance industry utilizes machine learning technology for the purpose of identifying important perceptions in data and to avoid frauds. In healthcare, machine learning in the form of wearable devices as well as sensors which can utilize data to evaluate the patient health. In Oil and Gas industry, it is being utilized for the purpose of identifying innovative energy sources, examining minerals in the ground, and to predict plant sensor disappointment. The government agencies also require machine learning as they have multiple data sources to be excavated for the purpose of perceptions (SAS Institute, 2018). Therefore, machine learning is beneficial in almost all the industries and the resource provides us with the information that in which industries does it being used.     

GitHub is an online hosting service for storing Git. It provides the functionality of distributed revision control. Also, it offers facility of source code management. It is easy to work with due to online graphical interface (Mybroadband, 2015). As per its report, between 2008 and 2015, it had achieved a lot of traction in Java due to which its ranking has increased. Java is a programming language which is easy to learn, read, and write. It is completely object-oriented and possesses OOP features for example abstraction, polymorphism, inheritance and encapsulation. It possesses programmed garbage collection, easy memory management model, and language features such as generics, it helps in creating highly reliable applications. There are various security features inbuilt along with runtime system such as static type-checking during runtime checking. Furthermore, Java applications do not have threats of virus attacks (CodeJava.net, 2017). The Java platform is designed with inbuilt multithreading efficiency which means one can build applications having number of concurrent threads of activities leading towards highly responsive and interactive applications. Java code is assembled into intermediary format i.e. bytecode that can be implemented on any systems for the purpose of which, Java virtual machine is ported. Thus, programmers can get benefitted through strong and vibrant Java programming language and the resource has provided us with the use and features of this programming language.

Bots are the software that imitates human behavior and take various forms which are chat bots facilitating customer support or acting as personal assistants (Wang et al., 2018). The political bot might be programmed for the purpose of leaving supportive comments on Facebook page of politicians, targeting journalists with fuming tweets (Rabbit Consulting Group, 2017). Bots are programmed to have sole mission i.e. posting as much as can without being trapped which makes bots as a potent tool for shaping public opinion by managing the discussions. Bots can be automated with its specific unique identity, in which, some steal identity of others and act as real users (DiResta et al., 2017). There are covert political bots that are designed to trick and betray and are persuasively appear as real individuals having authentic political ideas.  Therefore, the resource has been provided us with the information related to the Bots and how they are used for the purpose of disseminating the misinformation and affecting the human behaviors. 

References

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Finley, K. (2018) The Wired Guide To Net Neutrality [online]. Available from: https://www.wired.com/story/guide-net-neutrality/ [Accessed 22 May 2018].

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Marr, B. (2016) Surprisingly, These 10 Professional Jobs Are Under Threat From Big Data [online]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/04/25/surprisingly-these-10-professional-jobs-are-under-threat-from-big-data/#68b4268d7426 [Accessed 22 May 2018].

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