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Intel Spectre and Meltdown update will make computers ‘immune’ to bug

jasper hamill

Intel Spectre and Meltdown update will make computers 'immune' to bug
Two huge security holes affecting chips made by Intel were identified this week (Picture: Getty Images)

Intel has vowed to fix two catastrophic bugs that have left almost every modern computer and smart device vulnerable to being hacked.

The tech firm said it had ‘made significant progress’ on fixing two serious flaw affecting computers and gadgets including Apple iPads and iPhones which are fitted with chips made by Intel and other companies.

Meltdown affects only Intel chips and lets hackers bypass the hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer’s memory, potentially letting hackers read sensitive information or steal passwords.

The second, called Spectre, affects chips from Intel, AMD and ARM and lets hackers potentially trick otherwise error-free applications into giving up secret information.

Now Intel has revealed that it’s working on an update which will ‘render those systems immune from both exploits’.

Intel Spectre and Meltdown update will make computers 'immune' to bug
Apple has vowed to issue a fix for the bugs as soon as possible (Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

‘Intel has already issued updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years,’ an Intel spokesperson said.

‘By the end of next week, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90 percent of processor products introduced within the past five years.’

Security researchers revealed the existence of Meltdown and Spectre on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Apple said Mac computers and iOS devices are vulnerable to Spectre attacks through code that can run in web browsers.

Apple will release a patch for the Safari web browser on its iPhones, iPads and Mac within days, it announced yesterday.

Intel Spectre and Meltdown update will make computers 'immune' to bug
Intel chips are found in a wide range of computers (Picture: Argos)

Google said users of Android phones – who make up more than 80 percent of the global market – were protected if they had installed the latest security updates.

It was feared that installing a fix for the bugs would slow down people’s computers, but Intel and Apple have both claimed this is not the case.

Intel said researchers from ‘Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are among those reporting that they are seeing little to no performance impact’ after installing security updates.

The chip-maker said it has already issued updates ‘for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years’.

‘By the end of next week, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90 percent of processor products introduced within the past five years,’ it continued.

MORE: Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities: Are you at risk?

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