Apple Says All iPhones, Macs Exposed To “Meltdown”, “Spectre” Flaws

Friday, January 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Fri, 01/05/2018

All Mac iOS devices and systems are exposed and vulnerable to the recently discovered chip bugs known as Spectre and Meltdown, Apple confirmed on Thursday. The flaws, which as we discussed before, allow hackers unauthorized access to a computer’s memory and sensitive data, were discovered by security researchers at Google Project Zero on Wednesday. Security vulnerabilities called Meltdown and Spectre affect almost all modern CPUs, including those produced by Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings.

“All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected,” Apple acknowledged in a statement on Thursday, adding that no cases had yet been reported of customers being affected by the security flaws.

To address these security vulnerabilities, Apple users may have noticed a suspiciously timed software update released earlier this week for their iPads, MacBooks and iPhones – an update that appeared to precede news about the latest controversy involving makers of microprocessors. Intel, one of the world’s largest chipmakers, admitted that its chips contain a flaw making it easier for hackers to hoover up sensitive information like the owner’s passwords. It was later revealed that this flaw wasn’t exclusive to Intel’s chips: Indeed, it reportedly affects nearly all microprocessors in circulation, according to the New York Times.

Here’s a succinct explanation of the problems that we published earlier this week:

4. We’re dealing with two serious threats. The first is isolated to #IntelChips, has been dubbed Meltdown, and affects virtually all Intel microprocessors. The patch, called KAISER, will slow performance speeds of processors by as much as 30 percent.

5. The second issue is a fundamental flaw in processor design approach, dubbed Spectre, which is more difficult to exploit, but affects virtually ALL PROCESSORS ON THE MARKET (Note here: Intel stock went down today but Spectre affects AMD and ARM too), and has NO FIX.

Users may have been wary after reading last month about Apple admitting what was long suspected by many loyal customers: That the company intentionally engineers software updates to slow down older products, thereby hastening the cycle of planned obsolescence that has helped establish Apple as the world’s most valuable company.

But as it turns out, the software update was designed to try and plug some of the security holes resulting from Intel’s Meltdown flaw.

Specifically, Apple issued updates for the iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2 and tvOS 11.2 systems to protect against Meltdown, which the company believes “has the most potential to be exploited.”

According to Bloomberg, despite concern that fixes may slow down devices, Apple said its update to address the Meltdown issue haven’t dented performance. The company will release an update to its Safari web browser in coming days to defend against the Spectre flaw described above.

The Rest…HERE

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