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Apple: Mac and iPhone both affected by big chip vulnerability

05 January 2018

Apple had been mum on the issue until this evening when a support document confirmed that all Mac systems and iOS devices were vulnerable.

Apple Watches were not believed to be affected.

Meltdown and Spectre are what are known as exploits, vulnerabilities or weaknesses, even though they are being reported widely as bugs or flaws on central processing units (CPUs), the computer chips at the heart of every PC or smartphone.

"All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected", Apple said on Thursday night.

Spectre is an exploit that breaks the isolation between different applications on chips from Intel, AMD and ARM, and potentially allows hackers to "trick" error-free programmes that normally follow best practices into "leaking" their secrets. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect almost all computing devices and operating systems.

Apple said all Mac computers and iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads, are affected by chip security flaws unearthed this week, but the company stressed there are no known exploits impacting users.

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BBC reports that Apple said it had already released some patches but there was no evidence of the vulnerability being had already released "mitigations" against Meltdown in its latest iPhones and iPad operating system update - iOS 11.2 and the macOS 10.12.2 for its MacBooks and iMacs.

A PAIR of security vulnerabilities affect virtually all Apple products but are not now affecting users, the company said. He tells Sydell that the problem is found on millions of computers, as well as smartphones and cloud storage provided by companies such as Google, Amazon Web Services, Apple and Microsoft.

The company said it would release a patch to help guard Safari against Spectre and advised only downloading software from trustworthy sources. "We proceed to create and test encourage alleviations for these issues and will discharge them in up and coming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS", the article states.

The Meltdown and Spectre issues take advantage of a modern CPU performance feature called speculative execution.

The circumstances that could lead to using the Spectre vulnerability might be a bit more hard to achieve but can still be done using Javascript running on a web browser.

Apple: Mac and iPhone both affected by big chip vulnerability