Apple's indigenously-developed Arm-based M1 (opens in new tab) chip suffers from a covert-channel vulnerability, unearthed by Linux (opens in new tab) developer Hector Martin.
Martin unearthed the vulnerability, dubbed M1RACLES, while working on the Asahi Linux (opens in new tab) project to port Linux to run on the Apple M1.
Martin has created a website to share details about the vulnerability. But, while the executive summary of the bug makes this bug appear like it is a significant one, Martin clarifies that it doesn’t pose any threat at all.
We're looking at how our readers use VPN for a forthcoming in-depth report. We'd love to hear your thoughts in the survey below. It won't take more than 60 seconds of your time.
>> Click here to start the survey in a new window (opens in new tab)<<
- Protect your devices with these best antivirus software (opens in new tab)
- Here are the best ransomware protection tools (opens in new tab)
- We've put together a list of the best endpoint protection (opens in new tab) software
“Really, nobody's going to actually find a nefarious use for this flaw in practical circumstances….Covert channels can't leak data from uncooperative apps or systems,” explains Martin in a FAQ on the vulnerability.
Martin explains that the vulnerability was the result of a conscious decision on Apple’s part who he argues decided to break the Arm spec by removing a mandatory feature, since they'd never need to use that feature for macOS.
Although there’s very little that can be achieved by exploiting this vulnerability, he says he flagged it because it violates the OS security model.
“You're not supposed to be able to send data from one process to another secretly,” he reasons.
Martin says that Apple will have to make a change on the silicon level to the M1 to mitigate this flaw. He suggests that the bug can be mitigated in virtual machines (VM) (opens in new tab), since the register still responds to VM-related access controls, but again adds that users should worry about other prevalent security issues like malware (opens in new tab), rather than the M1RACLES bug.
TechRadarPro has contacted Apple for comment.
- These are the best malware removal (opens in new tab) software on the market
Via The Register (opens in new tab)