Apple has confirmed that all of its Mac and iOS devices are affected by two major chip flaws called Spectre and Meltdown that leaves nearly every modern computing device vulnerable to hackers.
Technology companies are scrambling to fix the serious security issues after it was determined the two hardware bugs discovered could be exploited to allow the memory content of a computer to be leaked.
Such a leak could potentially expose stored passwords and other sensitive data, including personal photos, emails and instant messages.
In a statement on its website, Apple said all Mac and iOS devices are affected by both Meltdown and Spectre.
But the most recent operating system updates for Mac computers, Apple TVs, iPhones and iPads protect users against the Meltdown attack and do not slow down the devices.
The company added that Meltdown does not affect the Apple Watch.
Macs and iOS devices are vulnerable to Spectre attacks through code that can run in web browsers.
Apple said it would issue a patch to its Safari web browser for those devices ‘in the coming days.’
Researchers at Google’s Project Zero and academic institutions including the Graz University of Technology in Austria discovered the problem last year and disclosed it Wednesday.
Meltdown affects only Intel Corp chips and Spectre affects nearly all computer chips made in the last decade.
There’s no evidence that bad actors have yet exploited the bugs, but companies from Microsoft to Mozilla said this week they have worked to patch up vulnerabilities to their operating systems and browsers to protect against one of the bugs.
Researchers say the other is harder to fix and ‘will haunt us for quite some time.’
The news sparked a sell-off in Intel’s stock as investors tried to gauge the costs to the chipmaker.