Apple is updating its software to combat chip security holes 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre'

  • Apple says it has already released macOS and iOS updates to protect against the "Meltdown" vulnerability.
  • Updates are forthcoming for Apple's Safari browser for macOS and iOS.

Apple said late Thursday it will release more software updates to protect against recently disclosed security vulnerabilities.

This marked the first time that the company had made a formal statement about the "Meltdown" and "Spectre" vulnerabilities, which were reported to affect phones, servers andPCs.

Apple said recent updates to its iOS, macOS and tvOS operating systems included protections against the Meltdown issue, which has been shown to affect several Intel chips. Apple said the operating system for its Apple Watch didn't need a fix for Meltdown, or the Spectre vulnerability.

Spectre affects more chips, including the Arm processors used in iPhones and iPads. On a new support page on its website, Apple said the vulnerability is "extremely difficult to exploit." Nonetheless, the company said it will issue updates to its Safari browser for iOS and macOS to close the vulnerability "in the coming days."

Apple said the patches will have "no measurable effect" on performance. It also recommended that customers download software only from "trusted sources" like the Apple App Store, "since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device."

Google and Microsoft have taken steps to protect their browsers alongside Apple.