Apple devices are already protected against Meltdown without any hit to performance
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Apple is known for pushing the envelope in hardware, but it looks like they may be ahead of the game in security with the latest computer threat. In a press release earlier today, Apple asserted that the latest versions of their various operating systems (iOS, macOS, and tvOS) already have mitigations in place to guard against Meltdown, and a patch for Spectre will be released in the coming days. These fixes also shouldn't affect performance in any measurable way.
In case you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, two recent design flaws were discovered that left millions of Intel-based devices (among others) insecure. The two flaws, dubbed "Meltdown" and "Spectre," allow for various exploits at the hardware level and can leave affected systems open to malicious attacks.
Apple stated today that while most of its devices are indeed vulnerable to the two exploits, the most recent OS updates included mitigations that guard against Meltdown. On top of that, Apple says that these workarounds come with no reduction in performance. This is significant because some security researchers have said that fixes against the exploits are possible but will likely come at the cost of performance.
Keep in mind that the mitigations are only found in the latest updates (which were available at various times in December). If you have an Apple device other than the Apple Watch running older software, your device is still vulnerable to Meltdown.
Owners of the Apple Watch can rest easy; watchOS is completely unaffected by either Spectre or Meltdown.
Apple's quick response and slick fix may push some business toward the Cupertino company. Other manufacturers have yet to release statements detailing patches or action of any kind.
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