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Apple updates iOS and macOS with Spectre patch

Screengrab via EverythingApplePro/YouTube

It’s time to update your phone NOW.

After announcing that iOS devices and Macs were affected by the Spectre and Meltdown chip vulnerabilities, Apple has issued another update for its mobile and desktop products. The company released iOS 11.2.2 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 on Monday, updates designed specifically to address Spectre concerns. You should update your phone or Mac now.

Last week, we learned that virtually every mobile and desktop computing device on the planet was affected by a serious chip flaw. The vulnerability affects chipsets made by Intel, ARM, and AMD. Researchers identified two specific bugs that could take advantage of the flaw, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre.

Since knowledge of these serious security bugs has gone public, OS makers have been scrambling to issue patches to protect device owners. By Friday last week, most mobile and desktop platforms had at least some protections against the bugs. Unbeknownst to the public at the time, Apple had already addressed the threats posed by Meltdown in previous iOS and macOS updates in December. With iOS 11.2.2 and macOS 10.13.2, however, Apple offers patches to the second half of the chip threat, Spectre. Spectre is the less serious of the two bugs, but allowed devices to be compromised via browser-based Javascript hacks (a common venue for web-based attacks).

To update your iPhone, head to Settings, General, and then Software Update, if you haven’t received a prompt to update your phone otherwise. On a Mac, you should open the Mac App Store and then check for system updates there.

Thus far, researchers (and OS makers) seem to have caught and patched these security vulnerabilities before malicious hackers were able to exploit them. However, while no one has reportedly been affected at this point, that may not be true in the future. If you don’t update your system, it’s possible that hackers could take advantage of these bugs at a later date. Your only means of protection is updating your iPhone or Mac, stat.

H/T TechCrunch

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.