Software updates to patch Meltdown and Spectre

You may have seen news articles this week about two significant new flaws found in computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices, called Spectre and Meltdown. These flaws impact the computer processors (CPUs) that are in the heart of all the computerized equipment you own and use every day.

These flaws could allow hackers to steal data through malicious software or a hacked web site. Updates to operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS are required to protect devices from these flaws.

Williams IT staff are working with our vendors and the IT community to update College-managed technology resources (including College-owned Windows and Mac computers) as vendors release updates.

What can you do to protect your devices?  Check for updates right now on your Windows and Mac computers and smartphones.  Use your device’s software update feature to make sure you are updated to the latest versions.  This includes updating web browsers like IE, Safari, Chrome and Firefox to the latest versions, which contain some protections against Spectre and Meltdown.
Microsoft and Apple have updates available now and will continue to release further fixes, so we recommend you continue to check your device’s update features for new versions. If you are running an old, unsupported operating system like XP or Vista, you may need to update to a newer operating system version.
To check for updates on your computer:

It is worth noting that this is a worldwide problem not limited to just Williams but we are still obligated to do our part to protect our data and systems.
Please let me know if you have any questions or run into any obstacles with updating.  You can also contact the faculty/staff support desk at [email protected] or phone 413-597-4090.  Students can contact the student support desk at [email protected] or 413-597-3088.
Seth Rogers
Director of Desktop Systems
Office for Information Technology
Williams College