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Meltdown and Spectre: Apple issues iOS 11.2.2 and macOS 10.13.2 updates to patch vulnerability

Apple has released a new update for iOS and macOS that patches the JavaScript vulnerability exposed by Spectre security flaw.

  • Published: January 9, 2018 10:06 AM IST
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Apple has released iOS 11.2.2 with a security update for Safari that mitigates the Spectre vulnerability bug. A similar update is also being rolled out for macOS with the release of supplemental update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 with the same fix.

Apple confirmed last week that all macOS and iOS devices are affected by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability. It also released an incremental update in the form of iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2 and tvOS 11.2 with patch to help defend against Meltdown. The new update rolling out for iOS and macOS brings the patch that defends these operating system against Spectre security flaw.

To recall, Meltdown and Spectre are two of the most critical vulnerabilities affecting computer chips ever discovered. Meltdown and Spectre were independently discovered by security researchers and they expose critical information such as passwords and encryption.

Meltdown is a bug that primarily affects devices using Intel chipsets while Spectre, a lesser known bug affects chipsets from Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings. Meltdown is the serious of the two bugs revealed last week and any attacker can use an application as a backchannel to access low-level kernel memory that is generally protected from programs and user access.

Spectre, on the other hand, is not a serious bug but it can be exploited using JavaScript in a web browser. Microsoft and Mozilla have also patched their own web browsers against Spectre by disabling access to JavaScript SharedArrayBuffer.

Meltdown and Spectre together have the potential to expose crucial data from any system and obviously, no one wants to lose their password or private web addresses to an attacker. In order to safeguard your iPhone or iPad, head over to the Settings app and then tap on General and Software Update. On Mac, the updates are being delivered through the Mac App Store. It is always recommended to update your devices with latest security patches.

  • Published Date: January 9, 2018 10:06 AM IST