Apple’s M1 Chip Has A Baked-In Flaw
Apple’s M1 chip has been the talk of the town, but a developer has discovered a flaw he says is “baked into Apple Silicon chips, and cannot be fixed without a new silicon revision.”
According to developer Hector Martin, the issue “allows any two applications running under an OS to covertly exchange data between them, without using memory, sockets, files, or any other normal operating system features.” This could create what Martin calls “a covert channel for surreptitious data exchange.”
It sounds like a major issue, but Martin explains in a Q&A on his website that the impact of this is likely to be low.
“Really, nobody’s going to actually find a nefarious use for this flaw in practical circumstances. Besides, there are already a million side channels you can use for cooperative cross-process communication (e.g. cache stuff), on every system. Covert channels can’t leak data from uncooperative apps or systems.”
In other words, this can only potentially impact you if your system is already running malware.
“Honestly, I would expect advertising companies to try to abuse this kind of thing for cross-app tracking, more than criminals,” Martin explains.
In other words, run a virus scan if you are really worried, then be done with it.