Tech

Apple says Meltdown and Spectre flaws affect all Mac and iOS devices

Apple says Meltdown and Spectre flaws affect all Mac and iOS devices

The issues - Spectre and Meltdown - are flaws in computer chips which could, in theory, allow hackers to steal data from affected systems.

"Because chip replacements are not going to happen tomorrow, realistically, software is being updated", Sitaram Chamarty, a security researcher at Tata Consultancy Services, told CNNMoney.

But that's not all.

While the patches could minimise the effect to an extent, the Registers and few users suggested that this could result in the operating system's performance slowdown.

With that, here's our rundown of the tech industry's response to the Meltdown/Spectre palaver thus far, who have said they have fixed the problem, and who is rumoured to announce the same any day now... Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown.

While initial coverage of the Meltdown vulnerability said that fixes could bring hits to performance, Apple says that neither macOS nor iOS suffer from a "measurable reduction in performance" in benchmarking or in web browsing testing.

The search engine giant was super quick to respond, issuing a blog post the same night the news went viral.

The current updates to MacOS and iOS protect against Meltdown, but Apple said it will look to incorporate better protections against Spectre-type attacks in future updates to those operating systems.

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"The majority of Azure infrastructure has already been updated to address this vulnerability".

Apple tried to calm potential fears about the vulnerability, noting it's already taken action to protect against it.

To counteract the threat, patches for all operating systems are in the works. By the end of next week, Intel hopes to have released updates for 90 percent of processors from the last five years. "But the security flaws which were built into the chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and ARM allows one program to spy on another".

The firm also reassured users that the remaining instances will be completed in "the next several hours", with associated instance maintenance notifications.

This disclosure reveals that the scope of implications extends beyond just PCs to Servers, Cloud, Mobile and IoT platforms, and beyond one vendor's CPU platform to those of multiple vendors.

Apple's Spectre fix is still to come, though those vulnerabilities are harder to exploit, according to researchers.

"It is vital that users install any available patches without delay".


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