Thursday, January 25, 2018

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Meltdown and Spectre: Here's What You Need To Know

Shane Elliott

Recently, security researchers at Google discovered two critical flaws in some computer processors. According to the Guardian, "The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities arise from the way most modern processors work, using speculative 'out of order' execution of instructions." 

These flaws impact Intel Processors which are at the core of a majority of web servers and consumer devices worldwide. These flaws are serious and have been given the names Meltdown and Spectre, accordingly. Both vulnerabilities required servers to be patched to ensure complete protection. 

Initial reports of Meltdown and Spectre make it sound apocalyptic, however, the bugs were secretly disclosed to suppliers in June 2017, and since then, patching has been well underway. Amazon Web Services (AWS) told WIRED in a statement that, "There have been isolated cases where a specific workload needed attention after patching. Our engineers have helped customers optimize their applications and in almost every case, prevent significant changes to their costs.’”

What Does This Mean For You?

Due to the severity of these flaws, Amazon Web Services (AWS), which hosts our CMS platform and websites, recently rolled out patch updates. These updates had an immediate impact on our CMS platform performance, which resulted in occasional site sluggishness or server errors for our clients' sites. You may have noticed a 502 error when using the CMS or visiting one of our websites.

Steps We've Taken at LeaseLabs TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE:

When we were informed of the automated updates, we took immediate steps to adjust server resources to compensate for the impact on performance. While we continue to optimize our servers, we are also working directly with AWS to assess the situation. They have offered to help mitigate performance impacts for all their enterprise customers.

LeaseLabs is committed to maintaining high-performance, reliable websites for our clients. As we join the worldwide community in addressing these widespread changes, we encourage you to share with us feedback regarding any issues you come across. We will continue to monitor and adjust carefully and update you along the way. If you are a current website client with any questions or concerns, please reach out to your dedicated Account Manager.


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