BLOG: Richard Sah

Meltdown and Spectre - Do they affect your thin clients?

Meltdown and Spectre made big news in the last couple of days as exploits of critical vulnerabilities in modern processors.

Security has always been and continues to be of paramount importance for NComputing. Please find the detailed information pertaining to each hardware product family as it relates to these vulnerabilities:

NComputing RX-series thin client (including RX300 for vSpace and RX-HDX for Citrix):

  • Built based on Raspbian Pi 3 platform with processor type: ARM Cortex A53
  • Not affected by Meltdown or Spectre. More details in the Raspberry Pi foundation posting (reference: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/)
  • There is no need for any operating system patches

NComputing L-series, M-series and MX-series thin clients:

NComputing N-series thin client

  • Built based on proprietary processor with Cortex A9 core. Based on information provided in the ARM developer forum this processor is susceptible to variant 1 and variant 2 vulnerabilities (reference: https://developer.arm.com/support/security-update)
  • There is no need for any operating system patches
  • Official statement from NComputing: While the N-series thin clients are built on a processor that is vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown it is important to keep in mind that these devices use proprietary NComputing firmware executing very specific and pre-defined functionality. It is not possible to inject external applications or micro-code into this locked-down proprietary firmware. Furthermore, the Numo3 chip is our own ASIC and is generally not compatible with external Linux applications. We are confident that the N-series devices are secure and safe to use as along as only unaltered and certified genuine NComputing firmware is installed.

Additional references: 

https://spectreattack.com/
https://meltdownattack.com/

About the author

Richard Sah
CTO
Mr. Sah is the Chief Technology Officer and leads the planning & development of product portfolios and new technology initiatives. With his multi-lingual and multi-cultural experience and background, Mr. Sah has extensive experience in the design and marketing of technology products for various industries including semiconductors, servers, consumer electronics, and Internet software/service (Mobile, Cloud, Big Data and Saas) with extensive international business exposure. Mr. Sah has extensive hands-on experience ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies (including Intel, AMD and Vast Systems which was acquired by Synopsys), and has a successful track record building a new ecosystem and infrastructure and bringing emerging and mature products to markets. Mr. Sah received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from University of Michigan, and is still a loyal Wolverine fan. He received his master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, with additional focus on entrepreneurship, strategy and analysis.

Recent posts

September 29, 2016