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Apple finally issues Meltdown patch for OS X El Capitan and macOS Sierra

Apple has issued an important update for OS X El Capitan (10.11) and macOS Sierra (10.12). It aims to strengthen its software defence against the Meltdown security flaw, following its release of a near-identical upgrade for macOS High Sierra (10.13) at the beginning of the month.

Meltdown, for those unaware, is a flaw present in all of chip-maker Intel’s modern processors. It arms malicious applications with a direct passage into a computer’s kernel memory data – the protected part of a system used to store sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords (in an unencrypted form).

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Earlier this week, Intel warned customers against installing the latest build of the Meltdown patch, since it’s been proven to hinder the performance of some of its older Broadwell and Haswell CPUs. But it’s safe to assume that Apple, a stickler for reliability, has ensured the firm’s caveat doesn’t apply to its update.

That said, we can’t be certain. We’ve contacted Apple to find out whether its upgrade is exempt from Intel’s warning. While we wait for a response, we’ll keep an eye on all the usual channels for reports of the release taking a toll on reliability – and will keep you updated, so be sure to check back regularly.

It’s looking promising so far, though.

Have you installed Apple’s Meltdown update on your computer? Let us know how it’s holding up over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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