Apple Updates MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro

Today’s topics include Apple updating the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro, and Bleedingbit Bluetooth vulnerabilities exposing WiFi access points to risk.

Apple on Oct. 30 announced some important updates to the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pros to compete with existing hardware from other manufacturers.

The Mac Mini has moved even more into the enterprise, providing workstation-like performance for a price that’s competitive with medium-priced desktop computers. It now has a choice of four or six core processors and up to 64 gigabytes of memory.

The MacBook Air now includes a new Retina display, Apple’s T2 security processor that handles tasks such as Touch ID and real-time encryption, the new Intel i5 CPU, a selection of SSD storage and the larger force-touch trackpad that can be clicked anywhere.

With the upgrades to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple has eliminated the home button and made the screen edge to edge.

Other updates include a new keyboard and cover that supports multiple viewing angles for the tablet, and a new Apple Pencil.

Internet of things security firm Armis on Nov. 1 announced a set of new Bluetooth flaws called Bleedingbit, which impacts Bluetooth Low Energy chips made by Texas Instruments that are used in Cisco, Meraki and Aruba wireless access points.

According to Armis, the impacted vendors were all contacted in advance of the disclosure so that patches could be made available.

The Bleedingbit vulnerabilities include two issues that could have potentially enabled an attacker to gain unauthorized access to an enterprise network. One is a memory corruption issue that impacts Texas Instruments BLE chips, and the other is a backdoor within the over-the-air firmware download capability on the TI BLE chip.