These are side-channel attacks where one process can spy on other processes. They affect computers where an untrusted browser window can execute code, phones that have multiple apps running at the same time, and cloud computing networks that run lots of different processes at once. Fixing them either requires a patch that results in a major performance hit, or is impossible and requires a re-architecture of conditional execution in future CPU chips.
I’ll be writing something for publication over the next few days. This post is basically just a link repository.
EDITED TO ADD (1/7): xkcd.
EDITED TO ADD (1/10): Another good technical description.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Schneier on Security authored by Bruce Schneier. Read the original post at: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/01/spectre_and_mel.html