Apple rolled out iOS 11.2.2, a supplemental patch for macOS 10.13.2, and Safari 11.0.2, with all the security updates meant to provide better protection against Spectre.
Spectre and Meltdown are recently discovered vulnerabilities on Intel and ARM chipsets that have shaken the entire tech industry. Between the two of them, virtually any electronic device is at risk of a side-channel analysis attack that may steal sensitive data.
Apple Rolls Out Security Updates To Patch Spectre Vulnerability
Apple recently confirmed that all Mac and iOS CPUs are affected by the Meltdown and Spectre flaws. However, the company noted that iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 are already designed with protection against Meltdown.
Apple promised that more security patches are on the way to fight back against Spectre, and the company has kept its word. Users can now download iOS 11.2.2, the supplemental patch for macOS 10.13.2, and Safari 11.0.2, with the updates carrying the goal of protecting Safari against attacks that exploit the Spectre vulnerability.
The latest version of iOS 11 can be installed through the Software Update section under Settings. The size of the update stands at 75.5 MB for the iPhone X and 65.7 MB for the iPhone 7 Plus.
The Apple Watch, meanwhile, is unaffected by both Meltdown and Spectre, according to Apple. The company also said that there are currently no known exploits based on the vulnerabilities that have affected iOS device and Mac owners.
Protect Yourself From Spectre And Meltdown
For protection against Spectre and Meltdown, the first thing to do is to update the software of your devices. A previous report claimed that Intel processors as far back as 1995 are vulnerable to Meltdown, so if an operating system update is long due, now would be the best time to start it.
Among the most important updates that users can install are those for their browsers, including the recently released Safari 11.0.2. The latest versions of Edge and Internet Explorer have protections against Spectre, but Google will not release a fix for Chrome until Jan. 23.
Users should also make sure that their devices have the latest versions of antivirus software. While such apps will likely not detect and block Spectre and Meltdown, they may detect malware which exploits the vulnerabilities.
Specifically for owners of iOS devices and Macs, Apple urged users to only download and install apps from trusted sources such as its App Store. This is because hackers who seek to exploit the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities will need to have a malicious app loaded into their target device.