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Spectre/Meltdown-Proof Chips Coming To Apple Machines?

timacn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2013
9
0
Hello. Sorry if this question has been asked already. I have read that Intel is bringing out new chips in the second half of 2018 that will supposedly protect against Spectre and Meltdown attacks. Assuming this is true, could anybody venture a guess as to when such new chips would actually appear in Mac computers for sale to the general public?

I would like to get a new Macbook Pro, but don’t want to spend that kind of money if a Spectre-Meltdown proof machine is on the horizon. Of course, I read other reports recently that said that 8 new iterations of Spectre have been discovered. If true, I imagine that might delay the rollout of redesigned chips.

Of course, some sceptics, pessimists, realists (take your pick) out there say that a chip redesign will just take care of present day vulnerabilities that we know about and that anybody wishing to buy a new computer should just go ahead and do it now because hackers and malware will always be with us.

I am not very computer savvy and wonder what the more knowledgeable/experienced members of this board think.

Thanks for any opinions/insights you can give.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,123
Hello. Sorry if this question has been asked already. I have read that Intel is bringing out new chips in the second half of 2018 that will supposedly protect against Spectre and Meltdown attacks. Assuming this is true, could anybody venture a guess as to when such new chips would actually appear in Mac computers for sale to the general public?

I would like to get a new Macbook Pro, but don’t want to spend that kind of money if a Spectre-Meltdown proof machine is on the horizon. Of course, I read other reports recently that said that 8 new iterations of Spectre have been discovered. If true, I imagine that might delay the rollout of redesigned chips.

Of course, some sceptics, pessimists, realists (take your pick) out there say that a chip redesign will just take care of present day vulnerabilities that we know about and that anybody wishing to buy a new computer should just go ahead and do it now because hackers and malware will always be with us.

I am not very computer savvy and wonder what the more knowledgeable/experienced members of this board think.

Thanks for any opinions/insights you can give.

Well all the chips on the horizon will have these vulnerabilities because they have been developed with them all in place i’m Thinking 2020 at the earliest and there are still no reports of this being actually exploited at all. Realistically everyone is in the same boat and unless you are a spy or work for nasa or a highly sensitive company using your computer then it’s just not worth worrying about.
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,215
2,633
Well all the chips on the horizon will have these vulnerabilities because they have been developed with them all in place i’m Thinking 2020 at the earliest and there are still no reports of this being actually exploited at all. Realistically everyone is in the same boat and unless you are a spy or work for nasa or a highly sensitive company using your computer then it’s just not worth worrying about.

Intel themselves claim hardware immunity comming in H2 2018.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/15/i...s-for-spectre-and-meltdown-on-upcoming-chips/
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,215
2,633
No immunity. The will not be a full Spectre hardware fix for a long time.

You didn't even read the link right?

“We have redesigned parts of the processor to introduce new levels of protection through partitioning that will protect against both Variants 2 and 3,” Krzanich writes. Cascade Lake Xeon and 8th-gen Core processors should include these changes when they ship in the second half of 2018.
 
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cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
16,983
4,969
You didn't even read the link right?

“We have redesigned parts of the processor to introduce new levels of protection through partitioning that will protect against both Variants 2 and 3,” Krzanich writes. Cascade Lake Xeon and 8th-gen Core processors should include these changes when they ship in the second half of 2018.
What are you trying to say?
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,739
1,483
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
From Anadtech.com dated March 15/18:

Unfortunately these hardware changes won’t mitigate Spectre variant 1. And admittedly, I haven’t been expecting Intel (or anyone else) to figure that one out in 2018. The best mitigations for Spectre v1 will remain developer-focused software techniques that avoid putting sensitive data at risk.

The catch is that the more worrying risk with Spectre has always been the v1 variant, as the attack works against rather fundamental principles of speculative out-of-order execution. Which has been why the initial research on the vulnerability class noted that researchers weren’t sure they completely understood the full depth of the issue at the time. And indeed, it seems like the industry as a whole is still trying to fully understand the matter. The one silver lining here is that Spectre v1 can only be used against same-level processes and not admin-level processes. Which is to say that it can still be used for plenty of naughtiness with user data in other user-level applications, but can’t reach into more secure processes.

Hopefully, Intel will be able to patch all known variants in the near future.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
6,111
3,089
SF Bay Area
Of course, some sceptics, pessimists, realists (take your pick) out there say that a chip redesign will just take care of present day vulnerabilities that we know about and that anybody wishing to buy a new computer should just go ahead and do it now because hackers and malware will always be with us.

That is not skepticism, it is reality. Any piece of software or hardware has vulnerabilities in it. If you design something to protect against all known vulnerabilities and vulnerabilities a team of engineers can imagine, there will always be some one or something thing that can with enough time and effort find a way in.
 
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flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,576
2,453
United States
That is not skepticism, it is reality. Any piece of software or hardware has vulnerabilities in it. If you design something to protect against all known vulnerabilities and vulnerabilities a team of engineers can imagine, there will always be some one or something thing that can with enough time and effort find a way in.

There is one way to design hardware that is not vulnerable to being hacked. Just don’t give it a power source.

The abacus hasn’t had a data breach yet.

Neither has my coffee cup. Though the darn thing won’t stay full. Somebody keeps emptying it. Hmmm.... I better look into that. As soon as I finish this cup of coffee... oh... wait... never mind.
 
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