Apple confirms iOS and macOS are vulnerable to 'Meltdown' and 'Specter'

Apple confirms iOS and macOS are vulnerable to 'Meltdown' and 'Specter'

Researchers announced the two flaws affecting virtually all computer processors on Wednesday. Malicious programmes could exploit these flaws "to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programmes", the researchers said.

It was revealed this week that two security flaws, known as Meltdown and Spectre, were affecting microchips made by Intel, AMD and Arm, which are used in nearly all computers, internet servers, smartphones and tablets, as well as data centres and any devices that connect to the cloud.

Meltdown allows a corrupted computer program to access the memory of other programs, apps or operating systems which are normally inaccessible, according to various researchers. While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact.

Cloud administrations possessed by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google itself have additionally been utilizing Project Zero's examination to make and issue patches for their servers, while numerous other littler cloud suppliers who had not been beforehand told about the defect are now scrambling to fix their machines.

The National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, said the major cloud service providers were installing fixes on their own platforms but separate updates would be needed on the operating systems of any virtual machines.

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"This bug is probably worth its name and logo considering the pervasive nature of the vulnerability", Bambenek said in a blog post.

The Spectre flaw contains two different exploitation techniques called CVE-2017-5753 or "bounds check bypass", and CVE-2017-5715 or "branch target injection", according to Apple.

"Contrary to some initial reporting, this is NOT just an Intel bug, it affects AMD and ARM processors as well".

Researchers said nearly every computing system - desktops, laptops, smartphones, and cloud servers - is affected by the Spectre bug. Intel's press release detailing the Meltdown and Spectre security issues seemed to minimize the security risks and performance degradations that users would see after software patches are deployed. "The good news is that Spectre is harder to exploit".

"Fully removing the vulnerability requires replacing vulnerable CPU (central processing unit) hardware", said the first bulletin.

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