Apple fixes critical security issues with Mac OS X update

Filed Under: Apple, Data loss, Malware, OS X, Vulnerability

ApplesApple released Mac OS X 10.6.8 yesterday. Most of the media reports have focused on the fact that it prepares your Mac for Mac OS X Lion, but it also fixes a wheelbarrow's worth of security vulnerabilities.

It's important to understand that cybercriminals don't need to exploit a software vulnerability to infect a Windows or Apple Mac computer, or to steal sensitive information - all you need is some clever social engineering to trick the user into making a bad decision.

But that's not to say that exploiting a vulnerability can't make the job even easier for a malicious hacker if users haven't properly kept their computers up-to-date with security patches.

And that's one of the reasons why it's so important to take the health of your computer seriously when your OS vendor releases a security update.

So, if you use a Mac, it makes sense to consider installing the Mac OS X 10.6.8 update, and patch your iMac or MacBook against the latest security vulnerabilities - before they're exploited by malware authors and hackers.

Mac OS X update

Some of the most serious fixes in the Mac OS X 10.6.8 update deal with flaws that allow "arbitrary code execution". That's computer-speak for "allow a bad guy to run malicious code on your computer, without your authorisation."

According to Apple, the update also identifies and removes known variants of the Mac Defender family of fake anti-virus malware. Malware is now an ongoing issue for Apple Mac users, with new threats being seen in the wild every day.

Details of the various security improvements can be found in Apple's knowledgebase article.

If you haven't already done so, I'd recommend running an anti-virus on your Mac as well as applying Apple's security patches. If you're a Mac home user, we have a free anti-virus you can download.

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One Response to Apple fixes critical security issues with Mac OS X update

  1. thegift73 · 1216 days ago

    I actually told my friend the other day about the latest malware issues regarding OSX platform and he just laughed and said that he had also heard about it, but it was just the whole PC vs Mac argument and rumours. I even emailed him the sites and articles on it.
    It baffles me as to the brainwashing that a lot of Mac users have come accustomed to due to the less than honest/ logical advertising campaigns. That is the single biggest obstacle that software vendors like yourselves are going to have to over come in getting their mindsets in the moving in the right direction.
    Personally, I'd like to see a fairly devastating virus to start doing the rounds attacking the OSX platform, as that may wake some of them up.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.