Apple has announced that all Mac systems are vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre chip flaws, including computers, iPhones and iPads, not including the Apple Watch.
The vast extent of the vulnerabilities caused by the two chip flaws are quickly being realised, with Intel, ARM and AMD first raising the alarm that their chips were potentially putting users at risk of having valuable data stolen.
Professionals have said that theoretically the flaws could be leveraged by hackers to search through computer memory for information like card details, but it has also been said that it could be difficult to do this with any accuracy or ease.
Google and Microsoft are among other industry giants acting to get the situation under control, issuing updates and advice to users. Apple has echoed a message of reassurance that there is no evidence that the vulnerability has been used maliciously, an understanding already shared by the likes of the National Cyber Security Centre.
In a blog post, Apple said: “All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. 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.”
Like other industry giants reacting to the flaws, Apple has been quick to act by providing updates to reduce the vulnerabilities caused by Meltdown and Spectre.
“Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. 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 in the blog post.