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Researchers say ZombieLoad is very similar overall but uses a slightly different approach to steal information the processor is not supposed to reveal. When your CPU runs code and ends up in a situation with data it can’t understand, it turns to its own firmware, also called microcode, for assistance in handling the unknown data and avoiding a debilitating crash. Now, normally, an app is not allowed to see data from other apps — that’s a pretty basic security consideration, right? ZombieLoad breaks down those barriers and leaks any app data stored in the processor’s core, allowing the malware to steal that potentially valuable info away. As with Spectre and Meltdown, processors created by AMD and ARM may still be vulnerable in some instances, but researchers largely think they are more immune to these concerns. Intel has already pushed out firmware updates for everything from Xeon and Sandy Bridge processors to their latest and greatest models, too. So, what can you do to stay safe and avoid these concerns? The answer to that question is an easy one, at least: stay on top of your updates. Intel’s updates continue to get pushed out through Google and Microsoft, but macOS users may already be protected. If you updated to the most recent version of macOS recently, you’ve already received the fix from Apple, and you’re good to go. According to TechCrunch, the Apple updates ensure that malicious webpages can’t use the ZombieLoad exploit on your machine. Further, most users shouldn’t notice any changes — but TechCrunch did note that those who “opted in” for complete ZombieLoad correction could face slowdowns. Is that likely for you? Probably not. For the average user, installing the macOS update is all you need to do — and for the non-average user, you’ve probably already taken the appropriate steps to protect yourself. So, take a deep breath, do your updates, and relax — the likelihood of running into ZombieLoad in the wild is slim, as are your chances of encountering any serious problems related to it. For more detailed information on these concerns, you can check out the site set up to help inform the public:

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