Apple Releases Security Updates for Spectre CPU Flaw

Intel Blazes New Trails For Quantum Computing With 'Tangle Lake': The First 49-Qubit Processor Prototype

Apple has released three new security updates aimed at protecting Safari and WebKit from the Spectre attack. The Safari update also addresses Spectre risks.

As Chris Swan noted in his report for InfoQ over the weekend, browsers are a particular target for the Spectre vulnerability since they can potentially be exploited via JavaScript running in the browser. The researchers responsible for discovering the bug, including Google's Jann Horn, are thanked in the acknowledgments. Although there aren't any known exploits for this, and the related Meltdown vulnerability, in the wild the update is an important one for all iOS users.

Apple has released iOS 11.2.2 for iPhone and iPad. Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store.

The Spectre security update for iOS and macOS can be accessed by using the Software Update mechanism in the respective operating systems.

For those technically minded, you can review the details of the security flaw that effects nearly all modern processors, over at Google's Project Zero blog. iOS 11.2.2 brings further fortifications for the mobile operating system against the Spectre vulnerability, and is available right now to all supported devices (iPhone 5s and newer, iPad Air and newer). Microsoft has claimed that 'the majority of Azure [cloud platform] customers should not see a noticeable performance impact with this update [as] we've worked to optimise the CPU and disk I/O path and are not seeing noticeable performance impact after the fix has been applied, ' while rival Amazon says similar of its own Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

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