Apple: All iPhones, iPads and Macs affected by chip flaws

Apple users haven't been spared in the great computer chip debacle.The U.S. tech giant has confirmed that all ...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 5:48 PM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 5:48 PM

Apple users haven't been spared in the great computer chip debacle.

The U.S. tech giant has confirmed that all its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by two recently disclosed processor flaws called Spectre and Meltdown.

So what should Apple users do?

For starters, make sure your iPhone, iPads, computers and all apps you use are kept up to date to help protect against hackers exploiting the flaws.

Related: What to do about the Spectre and Meltdown risks

In an announcement Thursday, Apple said it has released patches to defend against Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. Apple will release patches in its Safari browser to help defend against Spectre "in the coming days," the company added.

But it's still working on other fixes that users should look out for.

"We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS," Apple said.

Pointing out that the risks are likely to come from "a malicious app," Apple also advised users to download software "only from trusted sources such as the App Store."

Like other big tech companies that are scrambling to deal with the problem, Apple sought also to reassure users.

"There are no known exploits impacting customers at this time," it said.

The Apple Watch isn't impacted by the Meltdown flaw.

Researchers first announced the two flaws affecting virtually all computer processors on Wednesday.

Related: The computer chip debacle: Businesses are scrambling

Here's the issue: Modern processors are designed to perform something called "speculative execution" to enhance performance. Data is supposed to be protected and isolated, but researchers discovered that in some cases, the information can be exposed while the processor queues it up.

Researchers said almost every computing system -- desktops, laptops, smartphones, and cloud servers -- is affected by the Spectre bug. Meltdown appears to be specific to chips made by Intel.

Other major companies rolling out fixes include Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

Fixing the problems will slow a computer's performance, experts say, especially on devices more than five years old.

Intel said that "for the average user," the performance impact on products using the processors from the last five years "should not be significant and will be mitigated over time."

The bigger challenge appears to be for companies that deal with a lot of network traffic and considerable processing power -- things like cloud computing providers, retailers that process consumer transactions and medical systems that crunch data.

Related: Intel CEO's massive stock dump raises eyebrows

Some experts say that to completely get rid of the risks created by the flaws, the affected processors need to be replaced entirely. But that's not realistically going to happen anytime soon.

There aren't any processors available at the moment that can replace the vulnerable ones and still provide the same kind of functionality.

Experts say that it will take years to bring to market new chips that can perform the same tasks both safely and effectively.

Terre Haute
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Robinson
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Rockville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 65°
Casey
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Brazil
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Marshall
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Possible strong storms tonight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 195380

Reported Deaths: 7845
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1114474928
Lake12670446
DuPage12233520
Kane9759305
Will9236344
St. Clair4006161
Winnebago3779131
McHenry3189114
Madison259176
Kankakee178268
Rock Island174536
Champaign166919
Peoria160735
Kendall137723
Unassigned1368209
Sangamon124733
DeKalb93630
LaSalle76624
Boone76523
Jackson71719
McLean65115
Macon62423
Adams5195
Tazewell5188
Coles47220
Randolph4647
Ogle4105
Clinton40717
Williamson3996
Whiteside35517
Stephenson3276
Grundy3235
Union32123
Monroe31813
Knox2991
Jefferson28619
Iroquois26311
Morgan2496
Henry2341
Vermilion2342
Cass23111
Bureau2053
Warren1900
Perry1841
Macoupin1793
Franklin1780
Lee1711
Montgomery1707
Marion1560
Effingham1551
Woodford1513
McDonough14315
Christian1424
Saline1322
Jo Daviess1251
Douglas1162
Livingston1152
Logan1120
Jersey1052
Pulaski931
Clark822
Shelby791
Mercer754
Moultrie730
White680
Johnson670
Fayette663
Washington660
Piatt610
Wayne611
Bond603
Jasper597
Carroll564
Menard560
Cumberland552
Hancock531
Gallatin512
Ford492
Lawrence470
Mason470
Greene430
Massac390
Alexander370
Wabash350
De Witt330
Fulton330
Crawford290
Hamilton290
Edgar280
Marshall260
Clay230
Pike210
Scott210
Richland190
Edwards180
Hardin180
Schuyler180
Brown140
Putnam130
Henderson120
Calhoun90
Pope90
Stark70
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206