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

Apple releases iOS 11.2.5 with HomePod support, minor macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates

On Tuesday Apple said it has come out with patches to the Meltdown security vulnerability - which impacts several generations of Intel chips - for macOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan, which were released in 2016 and 2015, respectively. For instance, the update adds fixes for the kernel that relate to "malicious application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges", among other aspects.

Together with last week's update, this means the last three major revisions of macOS are not protected from the processor bugs.

Apple has released security patches for iOS and macOS that include, among other things, Meltdown and Spectre fixes. One fixes a problem that could cause Messages conversations to be listed out of order, and another corrects a bug that could cause your Mac to freeze when connected to an SMB server. The first is "a logic issue [.] addressed with improved validation", discovered by Resecurity Inc, and the second "a memory corruption issue [.] addressed through improved input validation" found and reported by Russ Cox of Google.

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You want to stay safe from hackers while still using an older version of Apple's MacOS - the underlying software that runs MacBook computers. As mentioned, the big news is HomePod support, although the release notes merely say, "Setup [sic] and automatically transfer your Apple ID, Apple Music, Siri, and Wi-Fi settings to HomePod".

Once downloaded, an information window will pop up on your screen. We recommend installing it the next time you charge your Apple Watch overnight since watchOS updates are so slow to install.

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