Meltdown and Spectre: All Mac devices affected, says Apple

Jan 05, 2018, 12:14
Meltdown and Spectre: All Mac devices affected, says Apple

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.

"Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre", Apple said in its post.

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. These steps could slow the speed of the browser by less than 2.5%, Apple said in a statement posted on its website. Another update is coming to protect the Safari browser from Spectre.

It may well be true that the average users will not see much of a difference on their home computer, but the impact of Meltdown and Spectre is much more widespread than that.

The tech giant said it is working on software updates to fix a pair of vulnerabilities which affect Apple gadgets as well as "all modern processors and affect almost all computing devices and operating systems". Apple also added that since it would take a malicious app to set off Meltdown or Spectre, it recommends that iOS and Mac users install apps from a trusted source only, such as the App Store.

"All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time", the firm said in the statement.

It was inevitable that devices made by Californian giant Apple would also succumb to the CPU vulnerabilities striking terror across the tech world.

Intel on Wednesday confirmed a report stating that its semiconductors contain a vulnerability based around a chip-processing technique called speculative execution.

The Register originally reported the story of the "Kernel memory" leaks and design flaws in Intel processors.

Researchers at Google's Project Zero and academic institutions and discovered the issues a year ago and disclosed them this week.

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. We continue to develop and test further mitigations within the operating system for the Spectre techniques, and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.