Apple Silicon Security Flaw Discovered in iPhone 12 and M2 MacBook Air

A security vulnerability that could allow attackers to access sensitive data has been discovered in some Apple silicon GPUs.

a14 bionic chip video
A recent investigation by cybersecurity firm Trail of Bits discovered the security flaw, named "LeftoverLocals," which allows attackers with local access to a device to retrieve data processed in the GPU's local memory. The issue is particularly concerning because of the expanding use of GPUs in processing Large Language Models (LLMs) for AI applications.

According to the firm, the vulnerability enables an attacker to eavesdrop on another user's interactive LLM session, potentially accessing sensitive information. Apple told Wired that newer devices with the A17 Pro and M3 chips have received patches to address this flaw, and Trail of Bits found that the third-generation iPad Air had also received a fix.

Most older models with vulnerable GPUs, including the iPhone 12 and M2 MacBook Air, are still vulnerable. While Apple has taken steps to patch certain devices, it remains unclear if and when all impacted models will receive security updates to directly address the problem.

The nature of the LeftoverLocals vulnerability is such that it requires installation of a malicious app or physical access to the device. As always, Apple encourages users to install the latest available software update to ensure they receive security fixes.

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Top Rated Comments

GMShadow Avatar
26 weeks ago

The nature of the LeftoverLocals vulnerability is such that it requires physical access to the device,
This makes it more of an academic vulnerability - the number of people at risk of having their device stolen so someone can run this hack on it is infinitesimal. Patch it if possible, but 99.999% of people shouldn't be worried about this.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3530025 Avatar
26 weeks ago

If someone has your Mac there are 1000 easier ways to get data off it than this.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GMShadow Avatar
26 weeks ago

Will be interesting to see if Apple will fix the M2 MacBook Air or use this as an opportunity to motivate people to upgrade their M2 MacBook Air to the M3 MacBook Air, by claiming it's not fixable.
If someone has your Mac there are 1000 easier ways to get data off it than this.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bviktor Avatar
26 weeks ago

One more reason to convince my friend to upgrade from her 12. But should've this happened in the first place,
All devices get new vulnerabilities all the time. That includes new devices. We need a patch, not a new device.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrono1081 Avatar
26 weeks ago

Measurements taken to force people to upgrade. Apple knows that the ship is gonna sink, hence everyone is leaving the company and WSB horses have been implemented into the company to take full control and drive it down the core leaving with all the money.
This isn't remotely true. If you truly think this way I legit feel bad for you. This is a weird security flaw (which happens all the time, security is a game of cat and mouse), nothing more.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roar08 Avatar
26 weeks ago

I see AAPL having a time ticking bomb...
This has been said about AAPL for the past 30+ years. I guess that's one long fuse.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)