How To Check Meltdown or Specter Vulnerability on Linux

The processor has been infiltrated by vulnerabilities, known as Specter and Meltdown, which enable an attacker with sufficient knowledge to gain unauthorized access to the processor and obtain sensitive information such as passwords.

Alarmingly, both Intel and AMD, reputable manufacturers of processors, are equally vulnerable to these attacks, and hence, a majority of users are at risk.

Therefore, it is essential to verify if the Linux operating system is susceptible to these threats and take necessary security measures such as downloading and installing the latest security patches or utilizing special tools designed for this purpose.

How To Check Meltdown or Specter Vulnerability on  Linux [Basic Mode]

For Linux, a straightforward test provided by the kernel developers can be utilized to check the status of the distribution regarding the Meltdown and Specter vulnerabilities.

Notably, this test is not accessible to all Linux distributions despite being a fundamental directive.

1. Run the following line:

grep . /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/*

As we have indicated, in some systems this analysis is not available, this implies that the kernel doesn’t have that directory or sysfs files.

So it will be necessary to update the kernel to the latest version. In case of not having this directory we will see the following error:

grep: /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/*: No such file or directory

2. Once you upgraded the kernel,  execute the command:

grep . /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/*

Note: If your system doesn’t run the command even when you update the kernel, you have the option to use a script instead to check the vulnerability.


Check Meltdown or Specter Vulnerability With a Script

To check the vulnerability, we will use a script that was developed to obtain accurate data on the type of security of our system and tells us whether or not we are susceptible to the threat.

1. To download this script, we must have Git installed in the operating system; if not, install Git with:

On Debian and Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install git

In CentOS or RedHat

sudo yum install git

2. Once installed, clone the repository of the script in any directory, in this case, Downloads, like this:

cd Downloads

git clone

3. When the cloning process finishes, enter to the directory and execute the downloaded script like this:

cd spectre-meltdown-checker


The result is a bit extensive, and in the first section we will see if we are vulnerable or not to the different variables of these vulnerabilities:

In this case, we know that we are exposed to all the variables of these threats. In the final part we will see more detailed information about the different types of threats:

Easy like that we can analyze if our system is vulnerable to Specter and Meltdown.

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