Apple: All iPhones, iPads and Macs affected by chip flaws

The flaws were discovered by researchers at Google and academic institutions a year ago but were kept secret.

Meanwhile, Spectre affects desktops, laptops, cloud servers, and smartphones. The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information.

Security researchers put out information on the critical bugs online.

An update from Apple on what is needed for its Mac computers and iOS devices is expected.

The lead cloud provider, Amazon, also said on Thursday that it did not expect performance to be severely impacted.

The microchip flaw affects device running the company's iOS and macOS operating systems, as well as the Apple TV.

Spectre and Meltdown are serious vulnerabilities that take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU.

Some antivirus software is incompatible with the Windows patches.

The two security issues, dubbed "Meltdown" and "Spectre", affect almost every modern computing device - including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

Meltdown could have devastating outcome for cloud providers as Google researchers were able to demonstrate reading of host memory from a KVM guest OS.

Intel products are said to be especially vulnerable, but the company issued a statement dismissing as inaccurate reports that the problem was unique to its products. The flaws were first reported by tech publication The Register.

Microsoft has released a rare, out-of-band emergency patch for Windows 10 users. Back in the early 1990s, in an effort to speed up computer processing, computer chip engineers hit on the idea of letting computers guess at what data would be needed next. Thus, the company will release updates to Safari on iOS and macOS "in the coming days".

However, he said the pros of installing the patches outweigh the cons. "This method only works if a certain type of malicious code is already running on a device and could at worst result in small pieces of data being accessed from privileged memory", Hughes said in an email.

It's something no one had realized was an issue for 20-some years. The company said it believes there "is near zero risk to AMD products at this time".

Google too has issues a statement informing users that its Android phones were protected it users had the latest security updates. There is no evidence malicious hackers have exploited the chip flaws, though researchers said it would be hard for investigators to know for sure.

Given kernel memory is dedicated to the core components and interactions of an operating system with its hardware, it is said that the flaw could be exploited by malicious programmes, namely Meltdown or Spectre, to expose secured information such as passwords, and effectively compromise a targeted machine or indeed server network.

  • Essie Rivera