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Ashampoo Spectre Meltdown CPU Checker 1.1.1

Check your processor for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

by Nick Peers

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Requirements:

Windows Management Framework 5.1 in Windows 7 and 8

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 15 January 2018
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 711
Developer: Ashampoo
RSS News Feed: https://blog.ashampoo.com/en/rss
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/Ashampoo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ashampoo
Buy Malwarebytes 3.0 Premium with a 1-PC license for only $29.99, saving 50% from store.downloadcrew.com
Ashampoo Spectre Meltdown CPU Checker 1.0
Discover whether your PC is affected by the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

The end of 2017 saw a rather disturbing pair of vulnerabilities emerge that affect a large number of PCs and Macs. They emerged at the processor level, meaning multiple steps are required to mitigate the vulnerability.

The threats have been named Spectre and Meltdown – the most pressing of these is Meltdown, and affects all Intel chips as well as a handful of ARM chips. Fixes are being applied at multiple levels: the browser, Windows (and macOS) and within the chip’s own internal firmware.

Spectre affects all chips – even AMD ones – but is an emerging threat that at present has yet to be exploited.

How can you be sure whether your processor is affected by either – or both – threats? Ashampoo’s standalone tool promises to keep things simple. Download and launch the program, then click ‘Start security check’. Wait a few seconds and the results will be shown.

Note, Windows 7 and 8 users may need to first install the Windows Management Framework 5.1 to install or update Powershell to the required version. Windows 8.1 and 10 users should have no need for either.

Once the test is run, the results are straightforward enough. If you have an Intel or ARM chip, the results are likely to be a pair of red exclamation marks and “Your processor is vulnerable!” AMD users will be flagged for the Spectre vulnerability, but not the Meltdown one.

The ‘More info’ link provides a web page with additional information about the vulnerabilities, but no practical advice. You’ll need to visit your manufacturer’s support pages where you should find instructions on what to do next to resolve the hardware side of the vulnerability, which involves installing a firmware update via a BIOS update.

Note, modern motherboards will be fixed first, but the fate for older chipsets remains uncertain – Intel has only promised to release microcode updates for "90%" of CPUs that are five years old or newer, but some manufacturers may not bother to support older processors: Asus recently stated it would only support chipsets going back three years, for example. You may need to keep checking back regularly to see if a fix has been released.

Verdict:

The tool provides an easy way to confirm your CPU is vulnerable to either Spectre or Meltdown vulnerabilities.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.18.51

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's New in Version 2.18.51

• When you receive a link to an Instagram or Facebook video, you can now play it right within WhatsApp. With picture-in-picture, you can also keep watching the video while you navigate to another chat.
• If you're a group admin, you can now remove admin rights from other participants. Select the admin in "Group Info" and tap "Dismiss As Admin."
• Group admins can now choose who can change a group's subject, icon and description by going to "Group Info" and tapping "Group Settings."

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: