Macs and iOS devices also affected by Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities

Paul, 05 January 2018

Yesterday it was revealed that the large majority of the devices that we use powered by Intel, AMD and ARM processors are vulnerable to attacks via two security flaws - named Meltdown and Spectre.

These are serious vulnerabilities and the whole industry is responding accordingly. Today Apple confirmed that all Mac systems and iOS devices are also affected by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities:

All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time.

It then went on to reassure customers by confirming that it had started to mitigate against these flaws in its portfolio of operating systems:

Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown.

As with many security flaws, it's most likely to be exploited by loading a malicious app on to your Mac or iOS device so only use a trusted source such as the App Store. This is of particular importance if you own a Apple device that isn't supported by the latest OS's as Apple has not, and may not, issue fixes for older unsupported devices.

Apple stated that watchOS is not affected by the Meltdown flaw.

It had been speculated that fixes could slow down an operating system by up to 30%. Apple addressed this by stating that the current mitigations applied to macOS and iOS had not resulted in a measurable reduction in performance when measured by the GeekBench 4 benchmark, or in common Web browsing benchmarks such as Speedometer, JetStream, and ARES-6.

Apple plans to address the Spectre by 'patching' Safari across its macOS and iOS platforms in the coming days as it considered that the Meltdown flaw had the most potential to be exploited.

The mitigations for Spectre will have a slight impact on performance with a drop of less than 2.5% on the JetStream Benchmark. Currently no impact has been measured on the Speedometer and ARES-6 tests.

Apple will continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Apples press release in full can be viewed by clicking the source link below.

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Reader comments

  • AnonD-696746

If its use Arm tech ( instruction set ) its affected. Even much more customised Arm tech like Apple A serie soc are affected.

  • AnonD-696746

Yes because the issues are in the instruction set lol.

  • AnonD-696746

Your comment make you look like a Delusional apple troll.