Apple issues Mac OS X security patch

The security update addresses flaws that security firms say could allow malicious code to be run on a Mac.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
2 min read
Apple Computer on Friday issued an update to Mac OS X to address flaws that security firms said could allow malicious code to be run on a Macintosh.

The update fixes a pair of flaws that could be used to create a virus that spreads through a Web link sent via e-mail messages. An attacker also would have to create a Web site with special programming to exploit the vulnerability.

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The issue was made public this week, although the person who discovered the problem claims to have notified Apple in February.

Security information service Secunia on Tuesday rated the issue "extremely critical," because online discussions have pointed out many different ways to exploit the flaws.

Apple took the unusual step of issuing a press release to tout its security update, but a representative refused to answer all questions regarding the issue, including why it has taken since February to get a patch for the software.

"Apple takes security very seriously and works quickly to address potential threats as we learn of them--in this case, before there was any actual risk to our customers," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in the press release.

The Mac has generally had a reputation for having fewer security issues--and less serious ones than Windows-based machines. However, Apple has recently been criticized for not adequately disclosing the nature of flaws in OS X and for its lack of response to security industry concerns.

Apple encouraged all Mac owners to install all Mac OS X updates on their machines to best protect their systems.