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What Are Meltdown and Spectre – and Should Apple Users Be Worried?

One News Page Staff Tuesday, 9 January 2018
What Are Meltdown and Spectre – and Should Apple Users Be Worried?by 👨‍💻 Graham Pierrepoint

It’s barely January and we have already found what may be one of the biggest tech stories of the year – as it seems that a potential exploit in tech hardware could mean slim pickings for hackers in more ways than one. In an unprecedented move, it seems that the otherwise robust Apple operating systems could be affected – meaning that anyone using Macs, iPhones and iPads will do well to sit up and listen to some of the advice currently being imparted. The two potential backdoors in question are being named Meltdown and Spectre – and it’s important that you get a simple lowdown and advice on how either may affect you and your data.

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Meltdown and Spectre are both flaws in microchips that have recently been discovered which could allow for easy backdoor access for would-be hackers – even those hoping to crack into an iPad or two. What’s being levelled towards PC, mobile and Apple users across the board is a message of not to panic – and Apple themselves have been upfront and unflinching on what it could all mean for their customers. “All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected,” advise the firm via blog, “but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems.”

So, what now? Apple users are advised that ways of fighting against Meltdown have already been laid out in their recent iOS 11.2 update and their macOS 10.13.2 update – though it’s thought the Apple Watch won’t be affected at all. Therefore, all Apple users are encouraged to update their hardware as soon as possible if they haven’t already. Microsoft has already released patching for Windows, stating that third party antivirus and firewall services may also need to be updated along the way. Android, which has previously come under scrutiny for potentially being more open to viruses than iOS, is thought to be robust against the exploits – and Google have confirmed that recent security updates will ensure no Android users are affected.

It’s already a big year for Apple, then, as millions of users all over the world await further instructions – for now, at least, do make sure you are fully updated and raring to go – as you can never be too careful with who may be willing to snoop on your private data! Keep an eye on One News Page for more information as we have it!

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