Intel’s Leslie Culbertson “most leading browser providers deployed mitigations for Variant 1 in their managed runtimes – mitigations that substantially increase the difficulty of exploiting side channels in a web browser. These mitigations are also applicable to Variant 4 and available for consumers to use today.”
That basically means that if you keep your browser up to date – which you should do no matter what – you are golden. If you don’t, update NOW. By the way, that goes for any piece of software you have on your PC: always install the latest patches. If you don’t want to deal with it, install a software updater that does it for you.
While you should be safe enough with the browser update, the story doesn’t end here. Intel will at some point in the near future release some patches for its processors which will come with a huge handicap. If you install them your PC might lose speed and get up to 8% slower. The good news: you can opt to turn the SSB-mitigation off. That will fix the speed problem. The bad news: It will make you more vulnerable to potential attacks again.
How will you decide? Let us know in the comments below.