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According to developer Hector Martin, Apple’s ARM-based M1 chip for the new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and the latest iMac has a security flaw. This vulnerability exists at the hardware level of the M1 and cannot be fixed.
Apple has received Hector Martin’s report and confirmed the existence of the vulnerability.
Basically, this vulnerability allows two applications to secretly exchange data with each other without using normal operating system features. It seems that Apple has violated a specification requirement of the ARM architecture, so there is no way to fix it.
Fortunately, this vulnerability does not pose any serious security risks to users. At worst, it’s just being used by advertisers for cross-tracking. Martin believes that hackers cannot exploit this vulnerability to take control of your device or steal your personal information.
Even so, a vulnerability is still a vulnerability and it violates the security model of the operating system. It affects all devices using the M1 chip and also the iPhone 12 series because the A14 Bionic is also based on the same CPU microarchitecture as the M1.
The only fix at the moment is to run the entire operating system as a virtual machine. However, this is an overly careful solution and an unnecessary waste of resources.
This vulnerability is expected to affect the next generation of the M1 chip.
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