Your iPhones, iPads and MacBooks are vulnerable to hackers, Apple warns

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Just hours after a computer chip flaw exposed majority of smartphones, computers, cloud storage, tablets and laptops to malicious activities, Apple today admitted that all of its iPhones, iPads and computers have been affected by the processor flaw, which could leave it vulnerable to hackers. We continue to develop and test further mitigations within the operating system for the Spectre techniques, and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. The Cupertino-based technology giant added that to actually exploit these vulnerabilities and carry out an attack will require that a malicious app be loaded onto the particular Mac or iOS device.

"All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time", the firm said in the statement.

"Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre".

Analysis of these techniques revealed that while they are extremely hard to exploit, even by an app running locally on a Mac or iOS device, they can be potentially exploited in JavaScript running in a web browser.

Apple said it had already released "mitigations" against Meltdown in its latest iPhones and iPad operating system update - iOS 11.2 and the macOS 10.13.2 for its MacBooks and iMacs.

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Apple has already pushed out "mitigations" to help defend iOS devices and Macs against Meltdown, the company said. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown.

In recent days, cybersecurity experts have released information about design flaws in microchips produced or designed by such companies as Intel, AMD and Arm Holdings, which control nearly all the chip market. Spectre covers two different exploits and allows applications to read each other's memory.

IDC estimated that there are 1.5bn PCs in use around the world today, out of which 90pc are powered by Intel processors.

Researchers at Google's Project Zero and academic institutions including the Graz University of Technology in Austria discovered the problem a year ago and disclosed it Wednesday.

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