Apple says iOS is vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre issues

Another update is coming to protect the Safari browser from Spectre. "But the security flaws which were built into the chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and ARM allows one program to spy on another". So while Macs and iOS devices, often hailed for being very secure, aren't immune, Apple's latest bulletin basically says stay calm and keep updated.

Even so, as Devin Coldewey reports for Techcrunch: "If you're wondering why people keep saying, "mitigate" instead of "fix" or "counteract" or something, it's because Meltdown and Spectre take advantage of computing practices so basic that avoiding them is extremely hard and complex".

Pointing out that the risks are likely to come from "a malicious app", Apple also advised users to download software "only from trusted sources such as the App Store".

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.

Apple is continuously developing and testing various mitigations and will release new updates further in all iOS, macOS and tvOS to tackle the situation.

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Apple simply distributed another help archive clarifying that iOS and macOS could be assaulted by the newfound (and exceptionally risky) Meltdown and Specter misuses. Data is supposed to be protected and isolated, but researchers discovered that in some cases, the information can be exposed while the processor queues it up.

Intel is focusing attention on chips that have been produced in the last five years - which is understandable to a degree.

Researchers said nearly every computing system - desktops, laptops, smartphones, and cloud servers - is affected by the Spectre bug. He tells Sydell that the problem is found on millions of computers, as well as smartphones and cloud storage provided by companies such as Google, Amazon Web Services, Apple and Microsoft.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Honan said "there's the potential that applying the patches could impact the performance of the machines", noting that older machines or those already under a lot of pressure may be particularly affected.

There aren't any processors available at the moment that can replace the vulnerable ones and still provide the same kind of functionality.

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