Marcha 19, 2018

Mac and iOS devices vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown

12 Enero 2018, 06:06 | Benedicto Grullon

Apple confirms ALL iOS and Mac devices at risk from processor flaw

How to protect your PC against the major 'Meltdown' CPU security flaw

Right now, the best known fix for the Meltdown bug is Kaiser, a software patch devised by researchers at the Graz University of Technology in Austria to address a different issue.

Researchers at Google's Project Zero and academic institutions including the Graz University of Technology in Austria discovered the problem past year and disclosed it Wednesday.

An earlier Intel release included findings from Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, with all noting that security patches have not affected real world computing performance drastically, as was a concern.

"Intel will continue to work with its partners and others to address these issues, and Intel appreciates their support and assistance".

The exploit in Apple products comes from the use of Intel processors in their devices.

Nearly all the devices with chips produced in the two recent decades are believed to be affected by Meltdown and Spectre.

Qualcomm on Friday said it's working on updates for products that are affected by recently announced chip-level security vulnerabilities. Tech companies typically withhold details about security problems until fixes are available so that hackers wouldn't have a roadmap to exploit the flaws.

A Linux security expert told ZDNet that Google Project Zero informed Intel about the security problems in April, but neither Google nor Intel bothered to tell the operating system vendors until months later. "Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown", the company said. Reports also suggest that ARM and AMD processors are at risk, too.

"Meltdown breaks the most fundamental isolation between user applications and the operating system". However, the patch might come with a catch: It reportedly causes systems to run up to 30 percent slower.

It advised only getting apps from its online App Store which vets programs for safety, and said it has already released some "mitigations" to protect against the exploit and planned to release a defensive update for Safari on macOS and iOS in the coming days. This is a particular issue on cloud computing services. "A dedicated attacker could decide to use these vulnerabilities to find flaws and default passwords in IoT devices, which we saw led to the creation of the Mirai botnet". That could be a problem for big cloud systems.

There are limits to what consumers can do now to protect their computers.

Apple has been making its own A-series systems on a chip since the iPhone 4 in 2010.

These vulnerabilities impact personal computers, mobile devices and the cloud.

That's not to say nothing can be done.

However, you need to make sure your antivirus provider is compatible with the update. If a device is affected by Meltdown then it's prone to hackers and they can bypass the hardware barrier which allows them to get sensitive information from a users account.

You should also check for updates to your web browsers - Chrome and Firefox.

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