Update Your Personal Devices due to Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

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January 10, 2018


To Faculty, Staff and Students:

You may have already seen media reports about two security vulnerabilities (Meltdown and Spectre) that could expose your data. Most modern computer processors and many types of mobile devices are vulnerable. As written in this Business Insider article, “You have to update your operating system, the firmware of the chip inside your computer, as well as your web browser. You can't just pick one, as it won't fully protect you against the bugs.”

Clearly, this is an important issue that IT staff take seriously and are addressing with University-owned equipment. However, since many personal devices connect to University systems, ITS strongly recommends that you update your personal computers and mobile devices immediately.

Here’s some guidance:

  1. Generally, make sure you’re using the most current version of your operating system and browsers. This article offers additional details on how to update common devices (e.g. Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones & iPads, Androids, Apple Watches).
     

  2. Check with computer manufacturers to see if firmware needs to be updated.
     

  3. If you have a University-owned computer or device at home, either bring it on campus and connect it to the University’s network OR connect it to the VPN for at least 1 hour (see this FAQ for instructions) to receive the proper updates. This action will get the OS upgraded but additional work will need to be done to upgrade the firmware. More details to come.

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk at 704-687-5500 or help.uncc.edu.