TechNotes

Apple confirms Macs, iPhones, iPads exposed to chip security flaws

Apple Inc. says software updates for iPads, iPhones and other products mitigate a vulnerability known as the Meltdown.


HP Canada recalling certain batteries due to fire hazard

Health Canada says HP Inc. Canada is recalling certain lithium-ion batteries used in notebook computers and mobile workstations because they can overheat and cause a fire hazard.


Microsoft is already fixing the big chip bug — here are the Windows PCs that will be most affected

The fixes for the vulnerability will have different effects on PCs, depending on the vintage of their processors. PCs with processors based on Intel’s two-and-a-half-year-old Skylake architecture or newer won’t see a “significant” performance reduction, The Verge reported, citing sources familiar with Microsoft’s thinking. But PCs with older processors could see a noticeable slowdown in their processor speeds.

Share
  • ontario john

    I blame Trump, Hitler Harper, global warming, and of course the Jews.

  • Millie_Woods

    And we’re going to trade in our autonomous, gasoline-powered vehicles for computerized, self-driving, battery-powered ones? Swapping reliable machinery for contraptions. We’re doing the same thing with our power grid. This has got disaster written all over it.

  • deplorabledave

    I took up with apple to get away from the seemingly constant upgrading that any pc I owned would go through. Hmmmm.

    • deplorabledave

      Seems that the demise of Steve Jobs also meant the end of apples excellent reputation.

  • Exile1981

    I’m noticing a massive reduction in internet access. Its like the whole internet slowed down today.

    • Backa Bock

      I thought it was just me. I bet there’s a state sponsored (aka NOKO aka China) cyber attack going on.

      • Exile1981

        I assumed it was the 30-40%:server speed reduction the intel chip security patch causes.

  • Was reading the tech info on the “Spectre” and “Meltdown” vulnerabilities. Meltdown doesn’t seem to affect Macs in the first place (the cited article appears self-ingratiating), whereas Spectre affects EVERYBODY including Mac. But only Intel is vulnerable to both.
    (for the tech nerds out there): https://spectreattack.com/spectre.pdf

    Both are from a new genre of attacks called “side-channel attacks”. Instead of attacking the “nominative” processes in your machine these sort of attacks exploit information resulting from “misses” and errors, in order to build a picture of normally protected information on your machine. In the case of Spectre and Meltdown they apparently exploit L1 and L2 CPU cache misses and use timing methods to build that picture. Nobody has a fix yet — the patches being currently released are only stop-gap measures. FF browser has its own stop-gap patch designed to “mitigate” an attack by messing up timing. Definitely not a solution.

    • Backa Bock

      Spectre is easy to explain. When your CPU sees: if “A” then do “B” otherwise do “C” , it can sometimes do both B and C while waiting to calculate A. Afterward it unwinds actions it should not have performed. Let’s say the action that gets unwound is the reading of privileged memory. No harm, because it retroactively didn’t “happen”. Unfortunately, it leaves a side effect that some memory might now be cached closer to the CPU. It is possible to discover privileged information by figuring out if something was cached. In fact you can read one privileged byte at a time this way.

      Eventually you can find passwords and encryption keys.