Meltdown, Spectre, and Now Bell Data Breach – Cyber Risk Is On the Rise

February 27, 2018 2 min read
Cyber Security

There certainly is a lot of news these days regarding cyber attacks and data breaches.  Very recently, Bell Canada experienced a breach that has impacted up to 100,000 customers.  It is estimated that hackers had access to Bell cyber security personal information such as names, phone numbers and email addresses.  Fortunately, it is thought that banking information was not compromised.

Data that is normally inaccessible may now be able to be obtained by hackers after discovering security flaws. Specifically, it has come to light that there are two security flaws named Spectre and Meltdown that are being found in most modern processors. As processors are literally in every device, this opens up the risk for a hack of information from personal computers, mobile devices, servers, and cloud services.

Experts revealed that since these flaws are design based, they will be more difficult to fix. Software patches have been released to temporarily fix operating issues to combat Meltdown and Spectre. However, the fixes are causing systems to slow down, impeding their ability to operate regularly.

These flaws are not new by any means and have been present for years. However, some researchers believe that these flaws can be specific to certain manufacturers. Regardless, here is some information that you should know about Meltdown and Spectre:

1. Meltdown

• A device’s data can be accessed by breaking down the barriers of security between an operating system and a device’s applications. Data that is shared across multiple users are also at risk. Updates have been released by software developers to mitigate the potential for hackers to use Meltdown and exploit users.

2. Spectre

• Similar to Meltdown, this flaw focuses on the vulnerability of device’s applications as a means to access sensitive data, which includes documents, photos, and passwords. Computer systems, smartphones, and servers are all subject to the threat of Spectre since it is present in ARM, AMD and Intel processors which are most commonly used. The redesign of future processors may be the key to overcoming the vulnerability issues present in today’s processors.

At MIG Insurance, we have unique cyber insurance and business insurance products that will help you in the event of a data breach or cyber attack.  Contact us to learn more.

Written by

Alex Harms is part of our marketing team at MIG Insurance and she specializes in writing content to make insurance easier to understand for our clients. She obtained her Bachelors in Commerce (Hons.) at the Asper School of Business and worked with MIG as a broker during her studies and now fulltime in a Marketing & Operations role. She has taken on many tasks her at MIG but enjoys the challenge. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family as well as her dog Murphy, out at the lake which is their favourite spot!