Apple says Meltdown and Spectre flaws affect all Mac and iOS devices

Apple has said that all iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by two major flaws in computer chips

Apple has said that all iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by two major flaws in computer chips.

It emerged this week that tech companies have been racing to fix the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, that could allow hackers to steal data.

The company said it has already released some patches, but there was no evidence that the flaws have been exploited by hackers.

Companies including Microsoft have also been working to provide fixes.

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.

The company advised that users download software only from trusted sources to avoid "malicious" apps.

“Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre,” it added. “These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time.”

Mac users have often believed that their devices and operating systems are less vulnerable to security issues than, for example Android phones or computers running Microsoft systems.

But the Meltdown and Spectre flaws are found in all modern computer processing units - or microchips - made by Intel and ARM, and together the firms supply almost the entire global computer market.

Meltdown does not affect the Apple Watch, it said, as the bug was an issue with Intel processors which are not contained in that device.

Patches against Spectre, in the form of an update to web browser Safari, will be released "in the coming days".

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

Google and Microsoft have already issued statements telling users which products are affected by the bugs.

Google said its Android phones - which make up more than 80% of the global market - were protected if users had the latest security updates.

And Microsoft has already released fixes for many of its services.  

 

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