Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics Carry Out Security Updates in Order to Solve Spectre and Meltdown Problems

Jan 26, 2018

Smartphone industries followed by PC and PC server industries are also working on solving security vulnerabilities that are named as Spectre and Meltdown#. Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Department made an announcement on the 25th that it will be conducting new security update for Galaxy series starting from this month.
Corresponding security update is going to take place to solve Spectre and Meltdown problems that made the world very noisy early this year as they exploit vulnerabilities of CPUs.
Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Department received security update for Android OS (operating system) from Google early this month and is working on optimizing these updates according to its Galaxy Series Smartphones. It is heard that this update also includes FW (firmware) update that fixes part of operating structure of CPU hardware. It is heard that Samsung Electronics’ System LSI Business Department and Qualcomm that provide Exynos and Snapdragon CPUs respectively provided their own FW. LG Electronics also announced that it will be conducting a new patch in February starting with premium Smartphones.
Spectre and Meltdown exploit CPU’s vulnerabilities such as branch prediction, out of order execution, and speculative execution that are high speed technologies for CPUs and peak into part of data that is saved into memories.
Branch prediction is a technology that predicts commands that are going to take place and prepare necessary resources from memories in advance. Out of order execution is a technology that calculates commands that can be done faster than others. Speculative execution is a technology that predicts upcoming calculations and performs calculations in advance.

Samsung Electronics’ Smartphones such as Galaxy Note 8 are also exposed to Spectre and Meltdown.
<Samsung Electronics’ Smartphones such as Galaxy Note 8 are also exposed to Spectre and Meltdown. >

Project Zero, which is an internal security analysis team from Google, named security vulnerability that exploits branch prediction and speculative execution as Spectre and security vulnerability that exploits out of order execution and speculative execution as Meltdown.
High speed technologies have been applied since 1990s. Some said that these vulnerabilities are only problems for Intels’ CPUs when they were first heard of early this year. “Most of high-performance CPUs that are being released are using these high-speed technologies.” said many experts. “Most of devices that have CPUs are exposed to Spectre and Meltdown.”
It is confirmed that not only are Samsung Electronics’ Exynos that uses ARM CPU Core and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series exposed to Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities but part of mobile CPUs from Taiwan’s MediaTek and China’s HiSilicon are also exposed to them. As a result, other Smartphone manufacturers that adopt CPUs from other businesses besides Samsung Electronics are planning to conduct new security updates shortly. Just like PCs, there is a chance that mobile devices’ performance will become slower after security updates. However experts believed that users will not be able to feel much difference while mentioning an incidence with Apple.
Apple has been working on security vulnerabilities of iPhones, iPads, and iPods through iOS update that took place early this year. Some say that Apple was able to quickly respond to these vulnerabilities as it made its own CPU, OS, and hardware. Apple announced that performance is almost back to normal after its security update.
Staff Reporter Han, Juyeop | powerusr@etnews.com

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