gpolit.com
gpolit.com January 20, 2018


All iPhones, iPads and Mac devices affected by 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' bugs

05 January 2018, 12:13 | Camille Rivera

Dell is among the manufacturers to use Intel’s chips

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Apple said the Apple Watch would not be affected by Meltdown and that mitigations had already been applied to the following device OS releases: OS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2.

Mac users have often believed that their devices and operating systems are less vulnerable to security issues than, for example Android phones or computers running Microsoft systems.

Apple has vowed to fix two major bugs which could leave iPads, iPhones and Mac computers vulnerable to being hacked. Then Google's Project Zero team, which tracks down zero-day vulnerabilities on computer systems, reported that the flaw impacts almost all modern processors. Apple notes, however, that Spectre can be exploited in JavaScript running in a web browser.

Intel on Thursday said it has developed and is issuing updates for all types of Intel-based machines that will render system affected by the design flaw immune to Spectre and Meltdown.

As of present time, Apple said in the statement on its website "there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time". As such, Apple will be rolling out an update for Safari, both on macOS and iOS, to mitigate it.

The IT giant recommends all the users to download software only from trusted sources, adding that the company has already released patches aimed at protection from Meltdown and Spectre and will continue its efforts in the sphere.

"Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS", the company said in its blog post.

The company says that it has already released "updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years" in the form of firmware updates and software patches.

Here's the issue: Modern processors are created to perform something called "speculative execution" to enhance performance.

But the Meltdown and Spectre flaws are found in all modern computer processing units - or microchips - made by Intel and ARM, and together the firms supply nearly the entire global computer market.

The vulnerabilities - which exist at a hardware level - put the onus on system creators such as Apple, Microsoft and Google to release patches at an operating system level to prevent hackers from exploiting the opportunity to steal passwords, credit card numbers and other vital details.



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