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Apple unloads torrent of patches, plus the first iPhone update

Mac and iPhone owners have some downloading to do, as Apple issued dozens of patches for Panther, Tiger and iPhone users Tuesday night.

If you own a Mac or an iPhone, chances are you'll need to download at least one of the security updates issued by Apple late Tuesday.

Dozens of vulnerabilities and bugs were covered by a total of six downloads for Mac OS 10.3.9 (Panther), Mac OS 10.4.10 (Tiger) on PowerPC, and the Universal version of Mac OS 10.4.10, as well as the server versions of each of those operating systems. Each download contains several patches to correct flaws, and Apple is recommending that all users of those operating systems download the updates.

Some of the vulnerabilities seem quite serious, leading to arbitrary code execution, downed applications or both. You can download the updates for your specific Mac at Apple's support Web site or by clicking on the "Software Update" selection under the Apple menu.

Apple also issued the first software update for the iPhone as part of Tuesday's releases. Unlike the Mac updates, the iPhone update will be delivered through iTunes the next time you sync your iPhone with your Mac or PC. It corrects a few flaws in Safari as well as in Webcore and Webkit, apparently the iPhone versions of some flaws Apple fixed for Mac users of Safari back in June.

Finally, Apple also released a new version of Safari 3.0, which is still in beta. The new version, Safari 3.0.3, fixes some security flaws for both the Windows and Mac OS versions of the browser.

The flood of patches comes as the security community is gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Black Hat conference.