Mozilla releases a patch for Meltdown and Spectre

Mozilla releases a patch for Meltdown and Spectre

Mozilla releases a patch for Meltdown and Spectre

The U.S. tech giant has confirmed that all its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by two recently disclosed processor flaws called Spectre and Meltdown.

Fixes: Released for Android, Google Cloud, and pending for Chrome. While Meltdown's effects can be mitigated with updated operating systems, countering Spectre requires more complex steps like updating computer code stored in the chips themselves - or in some applications like web browsers, Intel recommends inserting special instructions in places that security professionals said may be hard to identify. Intel and said Arm cores are vulnerable to Spectre Variant 2.

Apple shares rose 1 per cent to US$174.80 (RM698) at 3.01pm Friday in NY. While the Pentium chip underpinned most PCs running Microsoft operating systems in 1994, Intel processors are now also used in all Apple Macintosh systems and more than 95 percent of the chips used by cloud services and data centers run by corporations. Alongside an apology and an explanation that a software change was implemented to balance out the effect of aging batteries, the company reduced the cost of replacing the power units from US$79 to US$29 through the end of 2018.

David Shipley, the CEO and co-founder of Beauceron Security Inc., said the flaws, and the effort to patch them, could mean a drop in productivity for business.

According to the researchers who discovered these flaws, including security experts at Google, the memory chip maker Rambus and various academic institutions, Spectre can't be completely fixed.

Researchers said nearly every computing system - desktops, laptops, smartphones, and cloud servers - is affected by the Spectre bug.

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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Your operating system and apps typically have a button you can click to check for software updates.

"Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a "bug" or a "flaw" and are unique to Intel products are incorrect", said Intel.

"We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS".

But the main thing that users need to know is that the computer companies are now or soon will be issuing software updates or "patches", which will minimise (but possibly not eliminate) potential problems.

While most of the issued patches will likely fix Meltdown, researchers expressed concerns about how to fix Spectre.

ARM is the company behind an architecture that has been shipped in more than four billion chips installed in everything from smartphones to factories, and which is inside chips vulnerable to the Spectre flaw. But AMD also told its customers that "total protection from all possible attacks remains an elusive goal" and encouraged them to regularly update their software.

Vendors were already well advanced in developing fixes for the vulnerabilities and may were released just a day after the news first broke.

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