Apple Says All Mac And iOS Devices Are Affected By Spectre And Meltdown Flaws, Some Fixes Already In Peace

Apple has confirmed that the Meltdown and Spectre bugs in ARM and Intel processors are affected by all Mac systems and iOS devices, but that there're no known exploits impacting customers right now. The company says it has fixed the recent "Meltdown" vulnerability in previously released iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 updates.

Apple explains that since exploiting this issue requires a malicious app to be loaded onto your device, it recommends users only download software from “trusted sources such as the App Store.” As for an update for Safari to help protect against Spectre, the Cupertino firm says the update is coming.

So what exactly are Spectre and Meltdown? Well, they are serious vulnerabilities that take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU. As these use hardware-based flaws, operating system manufacturers are required to implement software workarounds. That said, these software workarounds can impact processor performance.

However, Intel has insisted everyday users that they won't see serious slowdowns. Apple says neither of macOS nor iOS suffers from a “measurable reduction in performance” in benchmarking or in web browsing testing.

Apple released mitigations for Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. watchOS did not require mitigation. Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS as measured by the GeekBench 4 benchmark, or in common Web browsing benchmarks such as Speedometer, JetStream, and ARES-6.

Meltdown, which allows a malicious program to read kernel memory, accessing data like passwords, photos, and more. The Meltdown can be exploited to read the entire physical memory of a target machine. The Spectre covers two exploitation techniques, breaks the isolation between different applications. so it is difficult to exploit, it can be done using JavaScript in a web browser. 

Apple says it will continue to test further mitigations for Spectre and will release them in future versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Read Apple’s full support article here

Via MacRumors And 9to5Mac, Image Credit Wccftech

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