Apple users: Learn how to protect your device against security flaws

An update from Apple on what is needed for its Mac computers and iOS devices is expected.

The second, Spectre, affects Intel chips and those made by rival AMD, but also chips based on designs from ARM - which run in most smartphones and tablets.

In a statement Thursday, Arm said that the majority of its processors are not affected by Spectre or Meltdown but confirmed that it has been working with Intel, AMD and other partners to develop defenses against the vulnerabilities.

The company reminded users to only download software from "trusted sources such as its App Store", since exploiting the flaws would require having a malicious app loaded onto the device.

People are being urged to check their devices and update all necessary patches to protect themselves against Meltdown and Spectre. Spectre is arguably the more risky of the two flaws; while Meltdown is considered more problematic in the short term, Spectre is harder to patch. In the case of Meltdown, Apple says it released mitigations for the exploit in the iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2 and tvOS 11.2 updates.

Apple simply distributed another help archive clarifying that iOS and macOS could be assaulted by the newfound (and exceptionally risky) Meltdown and Specter misuses.

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Speaking to, Honan said "there's the potential that applying the patches could impact the performance of the machines", noting that older machines or those already under a lot of pressure may be particularly affected. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect almost all computing devices and operating systems.

"This is without doubt the most disturbing issue to hit the industry for decades", says Ross Brewer, vice president at security firm LogRhythm, in a comment to Newsweek. Microsoft has already rolled out "patches" to protect many PC users. "Of course, smartphone vendors can update software to fix the problem, but the move is expected to dent the performance of devices".

Intel said it had planned to have fixes available soon.

Apple is continuously developing and testing various mitigations and will release new updates further in all iOS, macOS and tvOS to tackle the situation.

If you use a computer, smartphone, tablet, smart TV or any other computing device, you're nearly definitely affected, and there's no real way to detect if someone's trying to crack into your device, system or cloud account.

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