Apple Says All Macs, iPhones and iPads Exposed to Chip Security Flaws

Posted January 05, 2018

Apple Watch isn't vulnerable to the Meltdown attack, the company said.

The company admitted in a blog post yesterday that it was working to mitigate the effects of the Meltdown and Spectre design flaws in chips from third-party manufacturers used in Apple devices.

Apple said it had already released "mitigations" against Meltdown in its latest iPhones and iPad operating system update - iOS 11.2 and the macOS 10.13.2 for its MacBooks and iMacs.

The company has already issued patches in the latest versions of its MacOS, iOS, and tvOS operating systems that address one of the two potential exploits Google found for the flaw.

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The Meltdown and Spectre exploitation techniques abuse speculative execution to access privileged memory-including that of the kernel-from a less-privileged user process such as a malicious app running on a device. "All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time", Apple says.

While Apple has taken (and taking) measures against protecting users against Meltdown and Spectre, so have others.

In recent days, cybersecurity experts have released information about design flaws in microchips produced or designed by such companies as Intel, AMD and Arm Holdings, which control nearly all the chip market. "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.

Apple said it will release an update for its web browser, Safari, in the next few days.

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The two hardware bugs can be exploited to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked.

There has been no evidence so far the flaws have been exploited by hackers.

IDC estimated that there are 1.5bn PCs in use around the world today, out of which 90pc are powered by Intel processors. It was first discovered by Project Zero in June previous year. But someone, somewhere, blew the lid and tech giants are scrambling because the fear is that now the secret is out in the open, hackers could move fast to exploit these weaknesses.

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