If you own a computer or a smartphone, you may want to update your device’s operating system right now.
The issue at hand is with a security flaw in computer chips found in millions of computers, tablets and smartphones that could put your personal information at risk.
“The chips are the brains of the computer,” said Tim Helming from computer security company DomainTools.
Helming said a vulnerability in processors made by Intel and other chip manufactures can be exploited.
“Processes are supposed to remain isolated so they can’t get at each other’s memory so that’s the fundamental issue here. There’s a way to get around that,” said Helming. “But what it allows fundamentally is the ability to read out memory that’s not supposed to be read out by other programs.”
All it could take is one malicious email and it could provide the keys for hackers to get your most sensitive information.
“If a bad guy can get a foothold on a computer they could theoretically exploit this to get at the other processes that have passwords and other sensitive data in them,” said Helming.
The issue affects nearly every Intel processor since the 1990’s. The flaw was discovered months ago by a team at Google.
It’s reported that the problem was kept under wraps until a fix was found.
What you need to do right now is update your devices.
“Apple and Microsoft have both patched this, and it’s very important to run those patches,” said Helming.
Cloud-computing services are also at risk.
Intel told the Associated Press that the issue is “not a bug or a flaw in Intel products.”
It’s also reported that there’s no evidence that hackers have taken advantage of any chip problems.