Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Meltdown and Spectre flaws also affect all Apple Mac and iOS devices

Javier Burns | 05 January, 2018, 13:18

Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre.

In fact, Mac devices have always believed to be less vulnerable to viruses and security issues as compared to Android of Microsoft operating systems.

"Intel and other technology companies have been made aware of new security research describing software analysis methods that, when used for malicious purposes, have the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed", the company said.

Apple on Thursday confirmed that Meltdown and Spectre - the Google-discovered attacks that exploit a security flaw that affects nearly everything with a processor - can be used against its devices too. "Analysis of these techniques revealed that while they are extremely hard to exploit, even by an app running locally on a Mac or iOS device, they can be potentially exploited in JavaScript running in a web browser", Apple said.

The company said it would release a patch to help guard Safari against Spectre and advised only downloading software from trustworthy sources.

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Apple explains that Meltdown "has the the most potential to be exploited", while Spectre is "extremely difficult" to exploit.

Meltdown does not affect the Apple Watch, it said, as the bug was an issue with Intel processors which are not contained in that device.

"Intel has already issued updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years", an Intel spokesperson said.

The company has said that it will release a patch to protect its browser, Safari, against Spectre.

Intel said it had planned to have fixes available soon. In the case of Meltdown, Apple says it released mitigations for the exploit in the iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2 and tvOS 11.2 updates. The statement further adds that the company will release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. Apple has already released all of those updates, so if you own any of those devices, you can protect them by making sure your operating system is up-to-date. "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.

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