In security update, Apple backports Meltdown fix to older macOS versions

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We have been hearing about the betas of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 over the last few weeks and now Apple has released the final version of the software.

Of course, at the beginning of the week, Intel warned against installing "current versions" of Meltdown and Spectre patches in general - following instability problems that have hit some PCs - but presumably that caveat doesn't pertain to these patches from Apple.

Many users have criticized Apple for releasing Meltdown and Spectre patches only for recent OS versions.

The company had previously issued a patch for macOS High Sierra, the most recent version of its Mac operating system, but it put out a new update for High Sierra also. The 10.13.3 update has also been released for minor fixes.

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Meltdown and Spectre, another chip vulnerability revealed at the same time, take advantage of a modern processor performance feature called speculative execution, which improves speed by operating on instructions which may be used in future. The attacks, which became public earlier this month, could allow a malicious actor to exploit that vulnerability and get access to the secret data that's on a computer, including passwords.

To download and install the security update, open the App Store app on your Mac, click on Updates in the toolbar, and click the Update button next to the appropriate software update.

Other noteworthy bugs include CVE-2018-4094, a bug in both Sierra and High Sierra discovered by five researchers at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

If you're running one of these older Mac operating systems, it's recommended that you update as soon as you can. "We are still planning to issue a mitigation", the representative said.

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