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Emergency Notice - Windows Machines and the Meltdown-Spectre Vulnerability 2018-01-09

Recent details regarding two critical vulnerabilities being called Meltdown-Spectre are being reported to affect nearly every system including computers and phones using Intel chips. Therefore it is important that SLCC address these vulnerabilities as patches and additional details become available.

 

Instead of deploying Microsoft patches on the 3rd weekend of the month SLCC OIT will be pushing out emergency patching early for all SLCC Microsoft Windows computers based on Thursday January 11th to address the Microsoft OS and Microsoft web browser vulnerabilities. These updates can take up to 15 minutes to install and will require a reboot. There are two preferred ways to install these updates:

 

  1. You have the choice to initiate these updates at your convenience prior to the patch deadline on Thursday night (01-11-2018).  You can find the reminder to install the updates in your lower right task tray.
  2. Or you can simply leave your computer turned on and it will update itself on Thursday night with no user intervention required. The computer has to be on for this to occur.

 

If the updates are not installed by either method prior to Friday morning, your computer will install the updates when powered on. A warning message that the patch is being applied will appear and it will subsequently reboot.

 

 

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome Summary:

 

Mozilla Firefox announced that Firefox version 57.0.4 for Microsoft Windows desktop features security fixes to resolve security flaws related to Meltdown-Spectre. Firefox by default will update automatically but users who have installed and use Mozilla Firefox should ensure they are running version 57.0.4 or later by going to Help > About Firefox.

 

Google has announced that Google Chrome is scheduled to be updated on or about January 23rd to protect against the Meltdown-Spectre vulnerabilities. Google recommends users turn on the site isolation feature that limits the ability of a rogue JavaScript program from gaining access to sensitive data. This can be accomplished by entering chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process in the address bar, pressing Enter and relaunching Chrome when prompted.

 

Users requiring assistance with either of these processes should contact the Help Desk.





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