Apple Releases New Security Updates to Protect Safari Against the Spectre Attack

09 January, 2018, 02:13 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Intel CEO Confronts Chip Security Flaws As AMD Fixes Raise Issues

Overnight Apple has released the latest update to their mobile OS, with iOS 11.2.2 delivering a security update that patches the Spectre security vulnerabilities. Apple said that it had released "mitigations" for its devices, which are all affected.

ARM is the company behind an architecture that has been shipped in more than four billion chips installed in everything from smartphones to factories, and which is inside chips vulnerable to the Spectre flaw.

While security flaws are typically limited to a specific company or product, Intel says the problem is "not a bug or a flaw in Intel products" but rather a broader problem affecting processing techniques common to modern computing platforms. The Safari update also addresses Spectre risks. "As it is not easy to fix, it will haunt us for quite some time", the researchers said, explaining why they chose to call the flaw Spectre.

Apple has already confirmed that Macs and iOS devices are affected by the recently disclosed Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that have taken the tech world by storm in the past few days. 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.

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Unauthorized access will be hard to detect so cloud-computing providers need to act quickly to protect against these vulnerabilities, said Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of cybersecurity at Proofpoint.

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.

"All future Arm Cortex processors will be resilient to this style of attack or allow mitigation through kernel patches", the company said in a statement. However, no such update has been issued by Mozilla for Firefox for iOS. The update comes with a crucial Spectre fix for Safari, so be sure to update your machines as soon as you can.

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