If you haven't heard of Meltdown and Spectre, it's about time you do. Since yesterday, all newspapers and even TV provide extensive coverage on a recently discovered vulnerability of modern CPUs potentially resulting in a leak of sensitive data. While Meltdown seems to primarily affect all modern Intel CPUs, Spectre also applies to AMD and ARM chips. The scale of this vulnerability is not only unprecedented, it's historic.
The KPTI (formerly KAISER) patch developed by the University of Graz defeats Meltdown. The patch is part of the coming Linux kernel 4.15 and has already been backported to 4.14.11.
Which brings me to the good news for Archers like myself: Kernel 4.14.11 is available since yesterday, 8:13 CET. Spectacular work from upstream, but also from the Arch team! No new microcode, though – the currently available one is still from 17th of November.
CentOS just provided patches as well. There's nothing from Debian yet, however. 😞
Oh, and I've just received a mail from the hoster of pdes-net.org. Good to see they react at once.
What a great start of 2018. Well, regardless, happy new year to all of you. 😉
Update: An in-depth analysis of the mechanisms resulting in meltdown and spectre can be found in an online article (in German) written by the legendary Andreas Stiller (who, most unfortunately, retired at the end of 2017).