Apple share price: All Apple devices affected by processing chip flaw

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

Apple on Thursday confirmed that Meltdown and Spectre - the Google-discovered attacks that exploit a security flaw that affects nearly everything with a processor - can be used against its devices too.

The Apple Watch, which runs a derivative of the iPhone's operating system is not affected, according to the company. These steps could slow the speed of the browser by less than 2.5%, Apple said in a statement posted on its website. Apple is also working on patches and updates to defend against Spectre and will release them as and when they're ready.

Both Meltdown and Spectre exploit the capabilities of modern processors from different angles but in the same manner. Apple will release an update for Safari on macOS and iOS in the coming days to mitigate these exploit techniques.

'Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store'.

Apple Inc will release a patch for the Safari web browser on its iPhones, iPads and Macs within days, it said on Thursday, after major chipmakers disclosed flaws that leave almost every modern computing device vulnerable to hackers.

Apple was one of the last major computer firms left to comment on the newly discovered flaw, although it was already widely believed that its devices could be affected.




"Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS", the company said in its blog post.

Spectre and Meltdown take advantage of "speculative execution", a technique used by most modern processors (CPUs) to optimise performance.

Apple also announced that it will be releasing patches for Spectre in the form of an update to web browser Safari in a few days.

The vulnerabilities - which exist at a hardware level - put the onus on system creators such as Apple, Microsoft and Google to release patches at an operating system level to prevent hackers from exploiting the opportunity to steal passwords, credit card numbers and other vital details.

Intel products are said to be especially vulnerable, but the company issued a statement dismissing as inaccurate reports that the problem was unique to its products.

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