Kiwis warned to update software on devices

The government's Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert NZ) says people should make sure software on their devices is up-to-date after a design flaw in most processing chips was made public last week.

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, which leaves users open to cyber attacks, affect most devices including computers, phones and tablets, prompting software developers to build patches addressing those hardware flaws.

Researchers discovered the weaknesses, leading technology companies to bring forward an announcement of the patches.

"Cert NZ's advice to protect against these vulnerabilities is to ensure that all software on all devices is up-to-date," said director Rob Pope.

"Device and software manufacturers are working on updates for their products and many have been released already."

The local agency was launched last year as a one-stop shop for New Zealanders and local entities to find information on how to deal with cyber-security events, acting as a go-between for individuals, government agencies and businesses both big and small.

It's responsible for monitoring, tracking and advising on cyber security incidents, and if it's granted permission, can pass on information to relevant agencies.

Cert will issue an advisory to its website shortly and said it's important for people to check regularly for new updates over the coming weeks as firms get a better understanding of the vulnerabilities and how to mitigate those weaknesses.

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