How do I patch my ipad for Meltdown or Spectre?
QI have an ipad 2 that meets my needs and works well. It uses IOS 9.3.5, which is the latest software for this ipad. I regularly browse the internet and use apps that go online. So, in light of the Meltdown and Spectre exploits you’ve covered, should I discard my ipad 2 and buy a more up-to-date model for better protection?
I find your magazine very interesting by the way – a great job! Bob Cyclist
AThanks Bob. Meltdown and Spectre affect processors rather than specific brands or devices, so an unpatched Apple ipad is in theory every bit as vulnerable as a Windows PC. We say ‘theoretically’ because, so far as anyone knows, no one in the real world has yet exploited these flaws.
Both can be fixed by hardware or software updates, or both. However, as we’ve mentioned previously in these pages, not all manufacturers will issue fixes for all devices. Any ipad running IOS 11.2 or later is safe. However, at the time of writing, Apple has not indicated that the ipad 2 will move beyond IOS 9.3.5. That means your device is indeed at risk (specifically to Meltdown, because it has an ARM processor).
We should stress that Apple is hardly alone here but it is up to the company whether or not to update its software for older devices. That situation might change, so keep an eye on its support page at www.snipca.com/27407.