/ SECURITY WATCH

Urgent! Two processor flaws affected all macOS and iOS devices

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05 / 01 / 2018

Urgent! Two processor flaws affected all macOS and iOS devices

Spectre and Meltdown – two CPU flaws have been recently disclosed by Apple security researchers. These uncovered issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems.

What happened

The bad news is that Apple confirms almost every macOS and iOS device is stricken by these flaws. But the good news is that no exploits impacting customers have been reported yet.

Now Apple is working hard on fixing the problem. The company is going to release mitigations in Safari to provide enough protection against Spectre. By the way, Apple Watch is not affected by the Meltdown flaw. In addition, Apple developers are currently testing other mitigations for these processor flaws and will release them in upcoming iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates.

How it works

The flaw affects the kernel that is the core part of a computer’s operating system. The kernel transmits data between different types of memory on the chip and elsewhere in the computer. Spectre makes applications perform unnecessary operations leading to the private data leak. Meltdown collects information by trailing memory used by the kernel in a way that would not normally be possible.

Who is at risk

Companies that deal with network traffic and considerable processing power like cloud computing providers, retailers processing consumer transactions, and medical systems crunching data are targeted the most. However, experts claim that almost every computing system, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and cloud servers is affected by the Spectre bug whereas Meltdown appears to be specific to chips made by Intel. As long as the flaws are widespread, they may harm any user, so it’s recommended to take the following steps to protect your privacy.

How to stay safe

First of all, Apple users should track every new update for their machines, iOS devices, and all apps that protect personal data. The best solution is to get an update tracker that would notify you of every upcoming update.

Next, use only trusted sources when downloading anything online, as the reported flaws spread from malicious apps. Thus, it would be helpful to install a reliable antivirus and safe browsing system on your computer that will protect you from downloading any malware. Get a must-have MacKeeper app now and stay protected from online and offline threats. This app combines 18 protection, optimization, and cleaning tools in a single easy-to-use application.

No one knows how long will it take to handle this issue so the experts insist on protecting Apple devices.