JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU'D HEARD THE END of Spectre, Canonical has released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users that have AMD processors in a bid to rid of the vulnerability.
The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were made public at the beginning of this year, affecting literally billions of devices that had been made in the past two decades.
The second variant of the flaw, discovered by Jann Horn of Google Project Zero and subbed Spectre v2, is described as a branch target injection attack and is more difficult to rid off than the original Spectre flaw.
"The security vulnerability affects all microprocessors that use branch prediction and speculative execution function, and it can allow unauthorized memory reads via side-channel attacks if the system isn't patched," Canonical said.
"For example, a local attacker could use it to expose sensitive information, including kernel memory."
The firm, therefore, has released a fix; a processor microcode firmware update for amd64-microcode packages. That is basically a patch for AMD CPUs on all of its supported Ubuntu Linux releases.
Canonical said this covers versions: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr).
Canonical has urged users to update their systems immediately following the instructions on its website.
Last month, Canonical and Microsoft confirmed the arrival of the recently announced Ubuntu 18.04 LTS in the Windows Store, the second version of Linux to arrive in this way.
It offers access to a command line for the operating system which can then interact with many aspects of Windows, all from a single boot.
Several versions of Linux are now available in Windows, but it's not just a case of download and run - the Linux Subsystem for Windows has to be switched on, which you do by messing about in Windows settings - it's in the "Turn Windows Features on and off" menu. µ
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