Apple releases new security update to protect Safari against the Spectre attack

Intel Meltdown Bug

While we were sleeping Apple dropped an update for iOS users that addresses Spectre - the two vulnerabilities that make it possible for items in kernel memory to be available to user processes.

Apple has released iOS 11.2.2 for iPhone and iPad.

Meltdown was the most urgent and easily patchable of the flaws, but other vulnerabilities have typically required patches at the processor and software level.

Description: iOS 11.2.2 includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715). The download is now available from the App Store under "Updates".

The Spectre security update for iOS and macOS can be accessed by using the Software Update mechanism in the respective operating systems.

Both flaws affect something called "speculative execution" in modern computer chips, but they can be abused in different ways.

It's the second round of such updates from Apple, which confirmed on Thursday that all devices running iOS and macOS were affected. The update comes with a crucial Spectre fix for Safari, so be sure to update your machines as soon as you can.

Google also released mitigations for its many of products, and said a fix for its Chrome browser will be available later this month. Microsoft has claimed that 'the majority of Azure [cloud platform] customers should not see a noticeable performance impact with this update [as] we've worked to optimise the CPU and disk I/O path and are not seeing noticeable performance impact after the fix has been applied, ' while rival Amazon says similar of its own Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

The good news is users who keep their web browsers, apps and devices up-to-date should be protected from anyone trying to exploit these vulnerabilities.

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