Meltdown and Spectre: All Macs, iPhones and iPads affected


That's bad news for anyone with a computer, smartphone or other mobile device - all of which are likely affected by Spectre. This means an attacker could obtain passwords, encryption keys or steal information from other applications.

Apple has confirmed that almost all of its devices have been affected by the two major chip-level security flaws found earlier this week, Meltdown and Spectre.

For now, there's only one thing you can do: Update your devices and browser software when the updates are made available. "This is big news because it's going to affect every device made in the last 20-30 years".

No, according to the researchers. But these cloud services also use computers with the same types of problem chips.

The two hardware bugs discovered can be exploited to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked.

"There are lots of different ways for hackers to trick someone to let them execute the code", said Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of cybersecurity strategy at the Sunnyvale-based cybersecurity company Proofpoint.

But John Bambenek, a Fidelis security researcher who works with the SANS Internet Storm Center, warned that it may be too soon to know the extent of the problem. However, according to Google researchers, Spectre also is considerably more hard to exploit. And Spectre is everywhere: laptop and desktop computers, servers in data centers, and smartphones.

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Independent researchers separately discovered and named these vulnerabilities "Spectre" and "Meltdown". To update Windows, click the Start button and click through these buttons: Settings, Update & security, Windows Update and Check for updates. Google says Android devices are protected if they have the latest security updates. New Android software will roll out January 5, and Google Chrome will update January 23, according to Google.

The IT giant recommends all the users to download software only from trusted sources, adding that the company has already released patches aimed at protection from Meltdown and Spectre and will continue its efforts in the sphere. Microsoft has released a patch for PCs that use its Windows operating system.

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.

Apple said all Mac systems, iPhones and iPads were affected - with only the Apple Watch spared - but there were no known exploits impacting customers so far.

AMD told multiple media outlets that "due to difference in AMD's architecture" from the other two, the company believed there was "near zero risk to AMD processors at this time".

Microsoft said in a statement Thursday that it is not aware of any of these vulnerabilities being used against its customers. At the end of the event, though, he was also asked about his reaction to the Spectre/Meltdown security flaws that are haunting the chip industry.

Since it isn't a software issue, no matter what operating system a computer runs, the flaw can still be exploited.