Apple and Nvidia detail Meltdown and Spectre fixes


The two latest vendors to react to what may be some of the most wide-ranging computer security flaws ever found are Apple and Nvidia. Both companies have released statements about the exploits, information about affected hardware, and their plans for dealing with these infosec disasters. If you're impatient, the short version is that both Apple and Nvidia either have fixes in place already or are planning to release them posthaste.

Nvidia isn't a company you probably think of when you think of "CPUs", but the company's graphics processors are apparently impacted in some way by the security holes. The guys in green don't go into great detail, but have released a security bulletin saying that its GPU drivers are "potentially affected" by two of the three variant attacks. Nvidia lists those same two variants as possibly problematic for the Shield TV and Shield tablet in separate bulletins. The company says that a new driver in the R390 branch should be available next week for most of its graphics products, while the Shield devices should have a mitigating Experience update by the end of the month.

For its part, Apple remarks that it already has fixes in place for Meltdown. Curiously, even though Meltdown is believed to be limited to Intel CPUs at this time, Apple says that it has mitigations for Meltdown in iOS 11.2 and tvOS 11.2 alongside macOS 10.13.2. On the other hand, Spectre—which is both more difficult to exploit and to mitigate—will require a separate update "in the coming days." Apple says it expects the performance impact of these updates to be "less than 2.5%" in the worst case.

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