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

Apple users haven't been spared in the great computer chip debacle.The U.S. tech giant has confirmed that all ...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 4:48 PM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 4:48 PM

Apple users haven't been spared in the great computer chip debacle.

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.

So what should Apple users do?

For starters, make sure your iPhone, iPads, computers and all apps you use are kept up to date to help protect against hackers exploiting the flaws.

Related: What to do about the Spectre and Meltdown risks

In an announcement Thursday, Apple said it has released patches to defend against Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. Apple will release patches in its Safari browser to help defend against Spectre "in the coming days," the company added.

But it's still working on other fixes that users should look out for.

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

Pointing out that the risks are likely to come from "a malicious app," Apple also advised users to download software "only from trusted sources such as the App Store."

Like other big tech companies that are scrambling to deal with the problem, Apple sought also to reassure users.

"There are no known exploits impacting customers at this time," it said.

The Apple Watch isn't impacted by the Meltdown flaw.

Researchers first announced the two flaws affecting virtually all computer processors on Wednesday.

Related: The computer chip debacle: Businesses are scrambling

Here's the issue: Modern processors are designed to perform something called "speculative execution" to enhance performance. Data is supposed to be protected and isolated, but researchers discovered that in some cases, the information can be exposed while the processor queues it up.

Researchers said almost every computing system -- desktops, laptops, smartphones, and cloud servers -- is affected by the Spectre bug. Meltdown appears to be specific to chips made by Intel.

Other major companies rolling out fixes include Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

Fixing the problems will slow a computer's performance, experts say, especially on devices more than five years old.

Intel said that "for the average user," the performance impact on products using the processors from the last five years "should not be significant and will be mitigated over time."

The bigger challenge appears to be for companies that deal with a lot of network traffic and considerable processing power -- things like cloud computing providers, retailers that process consumer transactions and medical systems that crunch data.

Related: Intel CEO's massive stock dump raises eyebrows

Some experts say that to completely get rid of the risks created by the flaws, the affected processors need to be replaced entirely. But that's not realistically going to happen anytime soon.

There aren't any processors available at the moment that can replace the vulnerable ones and still provide the same kind of functionality.

Experts say that it will take years to bring to market new chips that can perform the same tasks both safely and effectively.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 498560

Reported Deaths: 9939
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34150535
DeSoto31916399
Hinds31878624
Jackson24352379
Rankin21928388
Lee15450235
Madison14547279
Jones13789241
Forrest13428250
Lauderdale11944315
Lowndes10966185
Lamar10491135
Pearl River9454237
Lafayette8462138
Hancock7703126
Washington7371157
Oktibbeha7118130
Monroe6740174
Warren6656176
Pontotoc6620102
Neshoba6613206
Panola6466131
Marshall6398132
Bolivar6268146
Union596794
Pike5794152
Alcorn5646101
Lincoln5421134
George494979
Scott471198
Tippah466081
Prentiss464881
Leflore4631144
Itawamba4605105
Adams4577119
Tate4553109
Copiah445692
Simpson4423116
Yazoo440386
Wayne438572
Covington427894
Marion4222107
Sunflower4217104
Coahoma4127104
Leake407687
Newton381079
Grenada3700108
Stone358764
Tishomingo358091
Attala330589
Jasper328565
Winston313491
Clay306775
Chickasaw297867
Clarke290694
Calhoun278145
Holmes267287
Smith262450
Yalobusha232847
Tallahatchie225851
Walthall217763
Greene216048
Lawrence211440
Perry204855
Amite204055
Webster201845
Noxubee185940
Montgomery179356
Jefferson Davis170942
Carroll168238
Tunica159039
Benton147538
Kemper141341
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131637
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106328
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814363

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1141131910
Mobile722941323
Madison52048686
Shelby37315341
Baldwin37098540
Tuscaloosa34973599
Montgomery33996725
Lee23158240
Calhoun22168470
Morgan20675372
Etowah19770496
Marshall18258300
Houston17314405
St. Clair15924337
Cullman15333290
Limestone15239198
Elmore15095284
Lauderdale14163294
Talladega13728272
DeKalb12575259
Walker11096366
Blount10104174
Autauga9904146
Jackson9795180
Coffee9182189
Dale8866181
Colbert8794200
Tallapoosa7045195
Escambia6747127
Covington6688179
Chilton6595160
Russell626358
Franklin5936105
Chambers5562142
Marion4960126
Dallas4897199
Clarke473482
Pike4721105
Geneva4564126
Winston4478101
Lawrence4269117
Bibb421786
Barbour356075
Marengo334189
Monroe330662
Randolph327763
Butler324894
Pickens314082
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300557
Fayette291079
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240867
Macon230762
Lamar218146
Conecuh185752
Coosa179038
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167838
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
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