Apple: All iPhones, iPads and Macs affected by chip flaws

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

On Wednesday, AlphabInc's Google and other security researchers disclosed two major chip flaws, one called Meltdown affecting only Intel Corp chips and one called Spectre affecting almost all computer chips made in the last decade. It urges users to only download software from trusted sources, i.e. the App Store, and has already released 'mitigations against one of the flaws in its latest iPhone and iPad operating system updates.

In a blogpost, Apple said it had released updates for iOS, the software on its phones and tablets, macOS, which is used by its computers and tvOS for its television products. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect almost all computing devices and operating systems.

In a statement, released by Apple on Thursday, the company announced, "All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected".

"All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time", Apple said in blog post on the issue. In the coming days the organization says it will discharge alleviations in Safari to help shield against Specter. We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Honan said "there's the potential that applying the patches could impact the performance of the machines", noting that older machines or those already under a lot of pressure may be particularly affected.

The flaws were discovered by researchers at Google and academic institutions past year but were kept secret.

Macs and iOS devices are vulnerable to Spectre attacks through code that can run in web browsers.

Apple simply distributed another help archive clarifying that iOS and macOS could be assaulted by the newfound (and exceptionally risky) Meltdown and Specter misuses.

The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information.

According to media reports and statements issued by cybersecurity experts, the hardware bugs could allow malicious software installed on the devices to get access to the information without responding to the operating systems that should prevent such software from doing this.

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