Apple releases Meltdown patch for macOS El Capitan and High Sierra

Dora Pope
January 25, 2018

Primarily, it prepares iOS devices for the smart speaker. iOS can now assist in setting up the new speaker if you buy it, and Apple lists the HomePod-related "play the news" Siri feature here, but we on an iPhone 7 running iOS 11.2.5. This further security update comes after Apple addressed the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in macOC High Sierra through the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, but left MacBooks using older operating systems unprotected. These are created to tackle vulnerabilities with Meltdown and Spectre on older MacBooks that use macOS Sierra and OS X El Captain. It also fixes an issue with an SMB server.

The Meltdown issue was first disclosed at the beginning of the month alongside another issue called Spectre that many companies have said is harder to exploit.

The move brings Apple closer to being on par with Microsoft in terms of deploying protections for older versions of its desktop operating systems.

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Apple announced these security updates in their security support document and asks that the updates are installed immediately.

If you're running an even older version of macOS then you're out of luck: you'll need to upgrade to a newer macOS, or fork out for a new Mac machine that has the guts to power the more up-to-date version of macOS - or you can just keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. And the company also dropped a number of software updates overnight that patch older versions of macOS/OS X against Spectre and Meltdown as well as addressing other problems right across their full suite of operating systems. Alternatively, you can click the Update All button.

On the other hand, Apple has insisted that its Meltdown fix has no measurable performance impact, according to its own benchmark testing.

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