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Apple’s iOS Spectre patch will probably throttle your old iPhone’s performance

The maintenance update Apple released for iOS (11.2.2) last week could throttle iPhone performance by over 40%, according to a benchmark test conducted by Dutch security researcher Melvin Mughal. 

Mughal used benchmarking software to track the performance of his iPhone 6 before and after installing the release, only to find that single-core power had dropped by an eye-watering 41%, while multi-core was down 39% in his tests.

“The benchmark had the full CPU capacity and all other iPhone resources at its disposal,” said Mughal, after clarifying the iPhone 6 in question was unmodified. “The [aforementioned] percentages are rounded accordingly,” he added.

Related: iPhone X

Apple’s latest update supersedes an earlier release – which mitigated against the effects of Spectre on the iPad and iPhone – by reinforcing the barrier that stops hackers from using Javascript to infiltrate Apple’s in-house Safari browser.

Their intention here would be to exploit the CPU-based loophole in a bid to gain access to the part of a computer system that’s used to store sensitive information, like credit card information and passwords, as part of a larger phishing operation.

It’s unclear whether Apple’s aware of the issue, but we’ve reached out in search of a statement and will update this post as soon as we hear back.

In the meantime, we’d love to know whether the latest update took a toll on your iPhone’s performance. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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