Apple has just confirmed that its popular iOS and Mac products are affected by the latest Meltdown and Spectre exploits.
These shocking flaws have been discovered in major processor suppliers, including Intel and ARM, and could give hackers the ability to steal vital information from PCs and smartphones.
In fact, the flaw allows hackers to gain access to data from the memory of a device – this could include passwords, emails, photos, and documents, according to a paper released on the discovery.
“All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time,” the US technology company confirmed in a blog post.
“These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems.”
Apple has said that it’s released “mitigations” against Meltdown in its latest iPhones and iPad operating system update – iOS 11.2 and the macOS 10.12.2 for its MacBooks and iMacs.
And the US technology giant says patches against Spectre will be released “in the coming days”.
Fixes will clearly be flooding in over the coming weeks but Apple has given some advice on how users can protect themselves right now.
Apple says that since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, they always recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store.
By only downloading official apps from verified suppliers, users should be able to reduce the risks to their data and devices.
It’s worth noting that Meltdown does not affect the Apple Watch as the bug was an issue with Intel processors which are not contained in that device.
Apple is the latest firm to issue a statement with Intel already telling cutsomers: “Intel and other technology companies have been made aware of new security research describing software analysis methods that, when used for malicious purposes, have the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed.
“Intel believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.
“Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a ‘bug’ or a ‘flaw’ and are unique to Intel products are incorrect.
“Based on the analysis to date, many types of computing devices — with many different vendors’ processors and operating systems — are susceptible to these exploits.
“Intel is committed to product and customer security and is working closely with many other technology companies, including AMD, ARM Holdings and several operating system vendors, to develop an industry-wide approach to resolve this issue promptly and constructively.
“Check with your operating system vendor or system manufacturer and apply any available updates as soon as they are available.”
Google and Microsoft have already issued statements telling users which products are affected by the bugs.
Google said its Android phones – which make up more than 80% of the global market – were protected if users had the latest security updates.
And Microsoft has already released fixes for many of its services.