Apple share price: All Apple devices affected by processing chip flaw

Hardware fixes are by nature much slower and more difficult than software fixes. tcareob72/Thinkstock

Hardware fixes are by nature much slower and more difficult than software fixes. tcareob72/Thinkstock

Macs and iOS devices are vulnerable to Spectre attacks through code that can run in web browsers including Apple's own Safari.

The two security flaws were reported earlier this week and have been named Meltdown (impacts only Intel chips) and Spectre, which impacts pretty much every known modern processor including Intel, ARM, AMD.

In a statement, released by Apple on Thursday, the company announced, "All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected".

Mac users have often believed that their devices and operating systems are less vulnerable to security issues than, for example Android phones or computers running Microsoft systems.

Spectre is a name covering two different exploitation techniques known as CVE-2017-5753 or "bounds check bypass", and CVE-2017-5715 or "branch target injection".

But the most recent operating system updates for Mac computers, Apple TVs, iPhones and iPads protect users against the Meltdown attack, which does not affect the Apple Watch.

Apple said that it has already released patches to fight against the Meltdown flaw in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. Apple will release an update for Safari on macOS and iOS in the coming days to mitigate these exploit techniques.

The good news is that "there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time", and a fix could come soon, according to Apple.

Apple said it will release an update for its web browser, Safari, in the next few days.

Apple admitted Friday that all iPhones, iPads and Mac computers worldwide are affected by the Spectre and Meltdown processor security flaws but said no customers so far had been affected.

Current updates to macOS and iOS protect against Meltdown, and Apple is working on providing better protections against Spectre. "We proceed to create and test encourage alleviations for these issues and will discharge them in up and coming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS", the article states. The vulnerabilities were uncovered by Jann Horn, a researcher at Google's Project Zero, along with academic researchers across the world.

The vulnerabilities - which exist at a hardware level - put the onus on system creators such as Apple, Microsoft and Google to release patches at an operating system level to prevent hackers from exploiting the opportunity to steal passwords, credit card numbers and other vital details.

Latest News