Is Your Chromebook Patched Against the Meltdown Vulnerability? Here’s How to Check

Is Your Chromebook Patched Against the Meltdown Vulnerability? Here’s How to Check

Last week, two serious hardware vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre, came to light, and there’s since been a veil of panic surrounding them. That’s not surprising — the bugs affect chips made by Intel, AMD, ARM, and others, and threatens to let hackers compromise sensitive data. While chipmakers (including ARM’s) have issued mitigations to prevent attacks, some operating systems remain vulnerable.

Google’s been quick to patch its platforms. It included a preliminary fix for Meltdown and Spectre in Android’s January’s security update, and this week on the Chromium Wiki, the search giant published a list of Chromebooks — i.e., laptops and desktops that run Chrome OS, its lightweight PC operating system — that might be vulnerable to Meltdown. The spreadsheet shows which Chromebooks have been patched, which haven’t, and which don’t need to be patched.

Source: Google

The two right-most columns indicate the status of the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) mitigation for Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754), with the second column noting when it’ll be available if it isn’t already. (ARM-based Chrome OS devices aren’t affected.)

Chrome OS devices don’t receive software updates forever, and some Chromebooks on the list have stopped receiving updates and security fixes. Still, the table’s huge and lists dozens of Chromebooks on the market right now, so if you’re curious about your device’s status, be sure to check it out.

As for Spectre, the fix is a bit less straightforward. Google says it’ll patch Chrome’s V8 Javascript engine with Chrome 64 “on or around January 23”, but for now, the search giant suggests enabling Chrome’s Site Isolation feature. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Type chrome://flags into Chrome’s address bar and hit the enter key on your keyboard.

  2. Find the #enable-site-per-process flag and set it to Enabled.

  3. Reload Chrome.

Via: Android Police Source: Chromium Projects


About author

Doug Lynch
Doug Lynch

When I am passionate about something, I go all in and thrive on having my finger on the pulse of what is happening in that industry. This has transitioned over the years from PCs and video games, but for close to a decade now all of my attention has gone toward smartphones and Android.