Meltdown and Spectre: All Apple phones and computers are vulnerable

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Computing chip manufacturers, tech giants and billions of global users are still trying to address two major security flaws, known as “Spectre” and “Meltdown,” which make nearly all modern computers and phones potentially vulnerable to the hacking of personal data.

  • Apple said that: “All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time.” The company has released patch fixes for their latest versions of the operating systems macOS and iOS. “We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.”
  • Intel published a statement saying that they’ve released updates for their latest processor products. The company’s chief executive briefly mentioned that 90% of their products introduced within the past five years would be fixed within a weeks time, at a keynote speech held at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event in Las Vegas on January 9. He referred to the issue as an “industry-wide problem” (BBC).
  • ARM, which dominates chips used in mobile devices, said the majority of its chips were unaffected but urged customers to update and apply all necessary updates.
  • Microsoft said which of its product are affected and have released fixes for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Edge. Many consumers have complained about PCs not rebooting, so the company has paused security updates for all Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) products until further notice. Microsoft authorities are blaming AMD for the issue. “Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a report by The Verge.
  • Google published an overview of the status of their products, but warned that a product’s status might change as they do further research.

Technology specialist site The Register broke the news about the hacks and reported the tech industry had been aware of for months while it worked on software and potentially hardware fixes. Industry experts say they are fundamental faults in processors powering devices and at the center of cloud computing.

The Register report focused on the Meltdown vulnerability in chips produced by Intel but said virtually all major chipmakers could be hit by one or other of the hacks – exposing users to security risks. A BBC report explained, however, that in reality business are the ones that should be more worried.

Michael Schwarz on Twitter

Using #Meltdown to steal passwords in real time #intelbug #kaiser #kpti /cc @mlqxyz @lavados @StefanMangard @yuvalyarom

  • This is an emerging story which needs expansion if you wish to EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK

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