Major security flaws put virtually all phones & computers at risk

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.

If this wasn't enough proof that Apple devices are safe from the flaw, take a look at this tweet from software developer Alex Ionescu, who says his studies of macOS code show Apple introduced a fix for the CPU flaw in the release of macOS 10.13.2, and there are additional tweaks set to be introduced in macOS 10.13.3, which is now in beta testing.

The initial speculation surrounding Meltdown and Spectre began because of the merger of kernel page-table isolation (KPTI) into Linux code which mitigated the threat, and major Linux distros - Red Hat, Debian, Ubintu and SUSE - have confirmed the updates are live for users.

Intel also says the exploits are due to "speculative execution techniques" which are present in almost all modern processors. These attacks are able to abuse certain performance features to leak information in violation of fundamental security constraints.

The two flaws, titled "Meltdown" and "Spectre" could leave important information stored on computers vulnerable to exploits from hackers.

"The bad news is, Spectre, in particular can't be completely mitigated by patching as it seems it will require a hardware fix".

"The name [Spectre] is based on the root cause, speculative execution", the meltdown attack advisory stated. Someone with access to an account on one of their cloud servers could potentially have accessed other customers' data.

"Our internal experiments confirm that it is possible to use similar techniques from Web content to read private information between different origins", Luke Wagner, software engineer at Mozilla, wrote in a blog post. "We have updated our systems and affected products to protect against this new type of attack", Google announced.


Statements from Intel, AMD and ARM have commented on Meltdown and Spectre and the patches and mitigations available.

On Wednesday, Google revealed that there's a big security hole in pretty much every processor, including the one in your phone, the one in your laptop, and the processors running servers "in the cloud".

Microsoft had originally meant to include patches as part of its regularly scheduled Patch Tuesday update on January 9, but it released out-of-band patches on January 3, which are now available to users via the regular Windows Update mechanism.

Both the chipmaker and Google, which informed Intel about the vulnerability in June, said they were planning to disclose the issue next week when fixes will be available.

To update your Windows 10 system, go to Settings Update & Security Windows Update Check for updates.

Kevin Beaumont, security architect based in the United Kingdom, has been gathering information on such AV compatibility issues. Fixing the problems may slow a computer's performance, experts say, especially on devices more than five years old. These services, offered by Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM and others, give smaller companies access to data centers, web hosting and other services they need to run their businesses.

"The underlying vulnerability is primarily caused by CPU implementation optimization choices", CERT warned in an advisory.

The scramble to harden a broad array of devices comes after researchers found two significant vulnerabilities within modern computing hardware, one of which can not be fully resolved as of yet.

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