All iPhones, iPads and Mac devices affected by 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' bugs

Hardware fixes are by nature much slower and more difficult than software fixes. tcareob72/Thinkstock

Hardware fixes are by nature much slower and more difficult than software fixes. tcareob72/Thinkstock

Apple says that now there are no known exploits that are impacting users at this time.

Apple was one of the last major computer firms left to comment on the newly discovered flaw, although it was already widely believed that its devices could be affected.

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".

The tech giant said it is working on software updates to fix a pair of vulnerabilities which affect Apple gadgets as well as "all modern processors and affect almost all computing devices and operating systems". It said that Apple Watch is not affected.

Spectre is an exploit that breaks the isolation between different applications on chips from Intel, AMD and ARM, and potentially allows hackers to "trick" error-free programmes that normally follow best practices into "leaking" their secrets. The company says that is "has developed and is rapidly issuing updates for all types of Intel-based computer systems", but it is not clear when - or whether - older devices will be treated to patches. Apple, has already acknowledged the potential security flaw in its MAC and iOS devices but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. Apple says, however, that its December 2017 update for iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 showed no measurable reduction in performance according to benchmarking tools.

Macs and iOS devices are vulnerable to Spectre attacks through code that can run in web browsers including Apple's own Safari.

A PAIR of security vulnerabilities affect virtually all Apple products but are not now affecting users, the company said. With Safari and virtually all other popular browsers not patched, hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users may have no secure means of browsing the web until Apple issues its patch.

Apple is continuously developing and testing various mitigations and will release new updates further in all iOS, macOS and tvOS to tackle the situation. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre.

Google said its Android phones - which make up more than 80% of the global market - were protected if users had the latest security updates.

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