Tech companies scramble to patch microchip security flaws

Apple says all Macs and iOS devices affected by chip flaws

Apple says all Macs and iOS devices affected by chip flaws

Whether or not this affects AMD and ARM processors has not made clear. If a device is affected by Meltdown then it's prone to hackers and they can bypass the hardware barrier which allows them to get sensitive information from a users account.

Security researchers have uncovered security issues in chips known as "Meltdown" and "Spectre".

Here's the issue: Modern processors are created to perform something called "speculative execution" to enhance performance.

Speaking of Apple, the company has issued its own support document about the security flaws, and it's drawn a lot of attention, as Apple acknowledges that "all Mac systems and iOS devices are affected".

Apple said it would release an update to its web browser, Safari, "in the coming days" to prevent hackers using the Spectre vulnerability, and would release further updates for all of its software to prevent their use in future. AMD chips are also common in PCs, while ARM chips are found in many smartphones and other internet-connected products, including cars and home appliances.

Apple has now confirmed that all iOS devices are also at risk from attack.

Apple further clarified their plans to update their devices to defend from the CPU bugs saying, "Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown".

Fixing the problems will slow a computer's performance, experts say, especially on devices more than five years old.

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"Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time", the company said in a statement.

"I think somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look at their CPU's, and actually admit that they have issues instead of writing PR blurbs that say that everything works as designed", he wrote.

The Meltdown and Spectre exploits take advantage of speculative execution by accessing "privileged" memory from a less-privileged source.

Windows users should be aware that third-party anti-virus software may need to be updated before applying operating system patches.

Companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Citrix have all issued advisories for users of their cloud services on how to best protect themselves from these attacks.

A group of security experts have revealed two security flaws that affect almost all microprocessors, the digital brains of the world's computers.

Your operating system and apps typically have a button you can click to check for software updates. This stunningly broad admission erases any ambiguity as to whether Apple's custom-designed A-series chips and more recent products were protected - they were not.

These vulnerabilities impact personal computers, mobile devices and the cloud.

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