Spectre and Meltdown Kernel Memory Leak Vulnerability

A flaw in most computer processors has been discovered that leaves systems vulnerable to attack. The kernel memory leak vulnerability allows access to the operating system’s protected memory. With this vulnerability, any information that is being handled in memory can be siphoned from the affected system. This can include passwords, database security keys, and any other secret information passing through memory.

The patch will begin being released Friday, January 5th, that will address this vulnerability. The patch comes with a potential performance impact. Early estimates show servers and workstations running on affected hardware could see a performance drop between 5 – 30 percent. Servers running SQL databases, exchange email databases and hypervisors are potential the most affected and could see up to a 30 percent drop in performance. Most user workstations will see a performance loss between 5 – 10 percent.