Scandal of Intel processors: how it affects iPhone and iPad -


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Friday, 5 January 2018

Scandal of Intel processors: how it affects iPhone and iPad

If last week the batterygate of Apple starred in all the covers of the technological media, during the last few hours it was Intel that took the headlines with a scandal even more sounded if possible : a vulnerability that affects computers with Windows, Linux and macOS.

After knowing the news, some companies like Microsoft have already rushed to launch a patch . And it is not for less: we are talking about a hole in the security of the chips of the last decade of the main manufacturers.

But the thing does not end here because Apple is still worse : not only affect MacOS since Apple uses ARM chips in the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, something that began with the iPhone 5s. As with AMD chips, ARMs would not be affected by Meltdown, but by Specter. For this reason, ARM has published the following informative note:

Based on recent Google research on the potential vulnerability caused by an exploit in processors, the latest information on impact and possible mitigation is provided.

Lateral cache timing channels are a well-known concept in the area of ​​security research and, therefore, are nothing new. However, this mechanism could allow someone to potentially extract information that would not otherwise be accessible through the appropriate software . This is the real problem.

So it is important to keep in mind that this method depends on the malware that runs locally , which means that it is imperative that users use good practices keeping their software updated and avoiding suspicious links and downloads.

Most ARM processors are not affected by this vulnerability.

However, it is still pending that Apple provide the list of processors of the series A could be affected and of course, that from Cupertino the relevant security patches are launched to avoid any type of attack.

Is there a real risk to my iPhone or iPad?

Considering that Apple uses ARM architecture chips, it is clear that there is some potential risk . But we can not forget that Apple is usually quite meticulous in the App Store, so it is difficult to find apps that make this attack possible.

Also, iOS is a much more closed environment than other systems, also has a secure enclave, an additional security measure that was born with iOS devices so that sensitive data is protected.

Finally, we hope that Apple will pronounce itself as soon as possible, providing more information and, like the rest of the manufacturers, provide security tools to reduce the risk to 0 .
What can I do to minimize the risk?

At the moment, the only thing we can do to be safe is to keep our iPhone and iPad updated with the latest iOS and take extreme caution with internet download links or that come from other ways such as WhatsApp or email, from so that we avoid installing such malware.

Via | iMore 

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