Apple says iOS is vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre issues

Hardware fixes are by nature much slower and more difficult than software fixes. tcareob72/Thinkstock

Apple's statement comes just two days after it was reported on Wednesday that all Intel chips produced over the last decade feature a design flaw that could put all Windows, Linux and macOS kernels at risk by essentially allowing commonly used programs to read or discern the contents and layout of a computer's protected kernel memory areas. Apple said it would issue a patch to its Safari web browser for those devices "in the coming days".

The security vulnerabilities apply to all modern computer processors and affect almost all computers and smartphones, leaving tech companies scrambling to find a fix.

Apple has put out a statement saying that the Meltdown and Spectre bugs affect "all Mac systems and iOS devices".

'All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time.

The Cupertino, California-based company said recent software updates for iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, Mac desktops and laptops, and the Apple TV set-top-box mitigate one of the vulnerabilities known as Meltdown. However, Apple says that it has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2 that protect iPhone units, iPod touches and iPad tablets from Meltdown.

It said the AppleWatch is not affected by Spectre.




While Apple has taken (and taking) measures against protecting users against Meltdown and Spectre, so have others.

There's no evidence that bad actors have yet exploited the bugs, but companies from Microsoft to Mozilla said they have worked to patch up vulnerabilities to their operating systems.

The bigger immediate threat from Spectre, Apple said, is in the Safari browser.

Apple watch however was safe from the security flaw. "We continue to develop and test further mitigations within the operating system for the Spectre techniques, and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS".

Intel said it had planned to have fixes available soon. The company pledged to issue updates to the Safari web browser in the coming days "to help mitigate against Spectre", which affects processors from Intel and nearly all suppliers, including AMD and Arm Holdings.

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