18 January 2024
Unpatched LeftoverLocals bug leaves AI secrets exposed in smartphones and laptops.
Your favourite iPhone or MacBook could be leaking its AI secrets!
A recently discovered security flaw, dubbed LeftoverLocals, exposes personal information stored in the graphics processing unit (GPU) memory of millions of Apple devices and others with AMD or Qualcomm chips.
What’s at risk? Hackers can potentially extract personal data like AI-generated content, passwords, and other sensitive information left behind on the GPU’s local memory.
Affected devices: iPhone 12 Pro, iPads, M2 MacBook Air, and several Qualcomm and AMD-powered devices are still vulnerable, while Apple’s latest M3 and A17 Bionic chip devices have received patches.
How bad is it? While initial access to the device is required, a mere 10 lines of code can exploit the flaw, making it potentially accessible to even less skilled attackers.
What’s Apple saying? They’re aware of the issue and have patched the latest devices, promising updates for older models soon.
The bigger picture
AI data on the rise: As GPUs handle more AI tasks, the amount of potentially sensitive data stored on them increases, making them a lucrative target for hackers.
Patch, patch, patch!: With no device immune to vulnerabilities, keeping your software updated is more crucial than ever.
What you can do:
Check your device model: See if you’re among the still-vulnerable devices listed above.
Head to settings: Update your device to the latest software version when available.
Stay vigilant: Be wary of suspicious links and downloads, as they could be used to exploit the vulnerability.
Remember: By updating your devices promptly and practicing general cyber hygiene, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to this and other vulnerabilities.
Share this news with your tech-savvy friends and family and help keep everyone’s AI secrets safe!