The words “Meltdown” and “Spectre” are in the headlines today.
Meltdown and Spectre are two hardware level bugs that allow nefarious programs to steal things like your online banking information. Don’t panic, the situation is not as dire as some headlines imply; NNRMLS has identified an easy way to find out if you’re protected against the Meltdown bug; find out if you have the latest update! Known as a “patch” these updates have been released for computers running Intel processors. There has not yet been a “patch” identified for the Spectre bug, however Microsoft, the makers of the Windows operating system, had said it would have another update slated for release on January 8 to deal with that bug, but have halted progress on it. As the NNRMLS team hears more about development of this “patch” we’ll update this post.
The NNRMLS IT Team has found a way to check if your system has been updated to protect against Meltdown. If you do not have the “patch,” (below are instructions on how to find out), enlist the help of your IT professional or you can attempt to update your computer yourself. Here’s an article from Microsoft on how to update a Windows 10 computer: https://support.microsoft.com/en-my/help/4027667/windows-update-windows-10
Here’s an article from Microsoft on how to update a Mac computer: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201541
If you are using a Mac, you will want to follow these steps to find out if you have the update.
- Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen
- Click on ‘About this Mac’
- The pop up window will have something like ‘Version 10.10.3’ near the top
- As long as the numbers next to Version are 10.13.2 or higher, you have the update that helps protect against Meltdown
If you are using a Windows computer, follow these steps, to find out if you have the update: The NNRMLS IT Team created “command line script,” (a string of numbers and letters), you can use to verify the presence of the “patch.” This “script” will work on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. To “run” the script follow these steps. (This is only to find out if you have the update, (“patch”), that will protect you against “Meltdown.”
- Locate the windows button on your keyboard, usually just to the left of the spacebar
- Hold the Windows button down and tap the letter ‘R’ on your keyboard
- In the “Run” window type in “cmd” without the quotes and click “OK”
- There should be a black window on the screen now, that is where we will “run” the script
- Highlight the following text, (the “script”), including the quotes:
wmic qfe | find “4056892” & wmic qfe | find “4056891” & wmic qfe | find “4056898” & wmic qfe | find “4056897”
- Then right click the highlighted text and left click on ‘Copy’ to copy the text
- Now right click on the black window we opened and left click on ‘Paste’ to paste the text into the command prompt window.
- HINT: If you didn’t get a menu that says ‘Paste’ after right clicking on the black window, you can hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key on your keyboard and tap ‘V’ once
After you paste the “script” it’ll look like this, but probably not exactly:
- Now tap your keyboard’s Enter button to “run” the command, and wait a few minutes.
- If you have the “patch” you should see something similar to the following image but the numbers may not match:
If after five minutes there are still no results showing below the script you pasted into your black Command Prompt window then you do NOT have the “patch.” You will now want to contact your IT professional to help you update your computer with the latest patch, or use the links above to reference the self-help articles on how to update your software.
This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Always consult your trusted IT professional for the latest information on this and other subjects.