Apple explains how to activate Intel’s full MDS mitigation

These days we have seen how Intel has been at the center of the controversy because of a series of vulnerabilities that affect their processors by significantly reducing their performance. In view of these severe problems Apple has been forced to publish a tutorial to explain to its users how to increase their security with the ‘total mitigation’ tool that comes disabled by default.

It comes disabled on all computers because Apple believes that is an excessive amount of security for a normal user, but now open the possibility of applying it on those computers of higher risk. Although in the tests they have done from Apple they estimate that the performance of the computers will be reduced by 40%.

Apple explains how to activate Intel’s full MDS mitigation
Apple explains how to activate Intel’s full MDS mitigation

Following the announcement by Intel of the detection of a series of vulnerabilities called Microstructure Data Sampling (MDS) and although their impact on Macs has not yet been assessed, you should resort to publishing this tutorial. If you think your device may be flanking a cyber attack from Apple they recommend to activate full MDS mitigation through Terminal whenever you have High Sierra, Sierra or Mojave macOS.

If you’re wondering if your computer might be a target computer, you might want to read this article from Apple where they comment on those models that are most vulnerable to not receiving security updates. In addition, the target people are government officials and senior executives who are obviously of interest to hackers because of the information they handle.

Activating the complete mitigation is based on giving an instruction to the CPU to uninhabit the sub-processes of the CPU providing security. To do this we must follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the computer. On startup, press and hold the Command + R keys until the recovery mode starts.
  2. Open ‘Terminal’ in the Utilities menu.
  3. Enter the following command and press Enter.nvram boot-args = “cwae = 2”
  4. Enter the following command and press Enter.nvram SMTDisable=%01
  5. Reboot the computer.

Remember, you must take these precautions if you are a person of importance in the political or business world. You should also remember that if you have your Mac updated to MacOS 10.14.5 you won’t have any problems. Obviously if you are not going to be a target of attacks better not activate these commands as you will have a 40% penalty on performance, something that will obviously be noticed.

We recommend that you read all of Apple’s support information here.

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