Apple has finally spoken out on the Meltdown and Spectre security scare which has dominated headlines this week, with the company confirming that all Mac computers and iOS devices are affected – but also that it has already patched macOS and iOS to defend the operating systems against Meltdown. Spectre, however, still looms large…
In a statement released on its support site, Apple said that these issues affected all modern processors and ‘nearly all computing devices’ out there, including all Mac machines and iOS phones and tablets as mentioned, although it added that there were no known exploits impacting users at this time.
Apple then stated that it has already released ‘mitigations’ for Meltdown in macOS 10.13.2 and iOS 11.2 (as well as tvOS 11.2), so you are protected if you’ve updated your OS appropriately. Indeed, older versions may have also been patched previously, but it’s not clear if that’s the case, and probably best not to take the risk on balance – especially now that these problems have become widespread knowledge.
On the subject of the Apple Watch, the firm said it wasn’t affected by Meltdown anyway.
Script for Spectre
Apple also took the time to remind folks that it “recommend[s] downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store” in terms of combating any potential exploits and other nastiness.
The company added: “We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.”
Intel has already come out in firefighting mode (again) yesterday with a statement saying that its next batch of security updates for its CPUs will make them ‘immune’ to both exploits. It also previously stated that any performance slowdown caused by patching the problems won’t be significant for the average PC user, and will diminish over time at any rate.
Meltdown and Spectre is a cross-platform, cross-device nightmare, as we’ve seen this week, and if you’re confused about how to defend against the flaws on non-Apple hardware, check out our full guide on protecting yourself from these exploits.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).