'Worst ever' CPU bugs affect virtually all PCs

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This certainly isn't unique to Apple systems and devices, however, so Apple-specific criticism surrounding these flaws is short-sighted and unwarranted. But AMD jumped more than 5 percent following the publication of the security flaws, to close at $12.12 a share.

Such information might include passwords stored in a password manager or browser, personal photos, emails, instant messages, and other sensitive documents, Dr Yarom says.

There are two separate problems. The second, named Spectre, affects Intel chips and those made by rival AMD, but also chips based on designs from ARM - which run in most smartphones and tablets.

Considering the issues affect virtually all processors, your computer and smartphone are likely impacted.

"This method only works if a certain type of malicious code is already running on a device and could at worst, result in small pieces of data being accessed from privileged memory", Hughes said in an email.

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They also cite the fact that the fixes released for Meltdown and Spectre could impact system performance. They said the flaws were discovered past year.

So far, no one has seen the flaws exploited in the wild. Digital Shadows' teams of security researchers have discovered that Shadow Brokers is offering purported exploits for sale on its Scylla Hacking Store, for $8,900.

Some tech companies have reportedly been aware of the bugs since past year, but didn't disclose it to prevent hackers from exploiting the flaws.

How does this affect me?

If you built your own PC you'll need to check with your OEM part suppliers for potential fixes.

Be careful what you are installing on your device.

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If hackers manage to get software running on one of these chips, they can grab data from other software running on the same machine.

If you're on an Android device and you've downloaded the most recent security update (issued monthly), congratulations-you're in the clear. These techniques potentially make items in kernel memory available to user processes by taking advantage of a delay in the time it may take the CPU to check the validity of a memory access call.

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.

Apple said late Thursday all its Mac and iOS devices are affected by Spectre and Meltdown.

Apple released patched versions of iOS 11.2, macOS 13.2 and tvOS 11.2 to defend against Meltdown and plans to roll out mitigations in Safari to fight Spectre's vulnerability in the coming days. "Intel encourages computer users worldwide to utilize the automatic update functions of their operating systems and other computer software to ensure their systems are up-to-date", Intel wrote in the press release.

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