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Tech: Mac OS-X Update Released

JohnInKansas 03 Feb 12 - 01:43 PM
JohnInKansas 03 Feb 12 - 01:45 PM
Andrez 03 Feb 12 - 06:50 PM
JohnInKansas 03 Feb 12 - 10:28 PM
Andrez 04 Feb 12 - 04:08 AM
Andrez 04 Feb 12 - 04:18 AM
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Subject: Tech: Nac OS-X Update Released
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 01:43 PM

Although we all know that Macs are invulnerable, users might want to watch for the latest patch release, and note that there have been some difficulties for those installing it.

Mac OS X update brings major security fixes, some issues

Apple released a major security update for Mac OS X Lion as well as its predecessor, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, on Tuesday.

By Rosa Golijan
03 Feb 2012

Apple released a major security update for Mac OS X on Tuesday. The good news is that this update patches 51 vulnerabilities in the operating system. The bad news is that it appears to be causing pesky issues for some users.

The update — which is available for both Mac OS X Lion as well as Mac OS X Snow Leopard, its predecessor — addresses security flaws in several of Apple's "popular software products and components,"

The issues addressed affect QuickTime, SquirrelMail, Webmail, PHP, Internet Sharing, ColorSync, CoreText, X11, Apache, and the Mac OS X operating system itself.

Also patched was a vulnerability related to Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) which could've potentially allowed those with malicious intent to steal a user's personal information, explains Liebowitz:

Online retailers and other companies that sell products online — Google, Amazon, eBay and Bank of America, just to list a few — use SSL certificates to verify their identities to Web browsers. If someone compromised an SSL certificate, that person could effectively "spoof" legitimate companies' websites and harvest hoards of personal information from customers who believed they were on a legitimate site.

Now while all of the security fixes are great news, there is a possible downside to this most recent Mac OS X update. According to Computerworld's Gregg Keizer, some Mac OS X users are reporting "post-update catastrophes" and saying that "after updating, every application crashed when launched."

[The recommendation is that users should get the update now, but may want to consult Mac forums to get an idea of what problems have been seen before deciding whether to install now or wait for patches for the patch.]

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mac OS-X Update Released
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 01:45 PM

Perhaps a clone could fix the thread title to Mac rather than Nac?
    I had wondered what that "Nac" reference was about.... -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Nac OS-X Update Released
From: Andrez
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 06:50 PM

Waiting to hear what other users report concerning any new OS patch or update, regardless of computing platform, is sound advice that I have long since taken to heart myself.

However re the most recent MacOSX security patch I failed to take my own advice and allowed the Snow Leopard version (10.6.8) security update to install on my MacBook Pro. The good news is that there have been absolutely NO issues at all as a result of this update to date.

The bottom line is that the causes of the reported problems have yet to be ascertained. However If the security patch issues become more widespread then we can be assured that a remedy will be developed and posted for downloading. Apple is generally quite good at getting that happening for users.

The simplest and most practical option is to delay installation of the update and wait for news of a revised patch.

In the meantime, if you have installed it don't panic. If nothing untoward happens after installation then things will most likely be OK. If things do seem unusual you can (a) try downloading (if you need to) and reinstalling the most recent 10.6.8 Combo Updater or (b) a little more dramatic, reboot and then do a backup from a time machine (assuming you have one of course) that predates the time of installation of the security update.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mac OS-X Update Released
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 10:28 PM

Glad to hear it went okay for you.

The article didn't give much detail on how common the problems they claimed might be, although it seemed it might be a minority.

Some people who complain about past Windows updates claim they've made a habit of making a new restore point (backup configuration) immediately before actually installing a major update, although some of us doubt they actually do it as often as they claim.

A couple of things said to be made better with the Mac patch do relate to stuff that's been in pretty active circulation recently, which would suggest the patches could be fairly important; but I haven't seen a breakdown on how often those particular kinds of exploits have been affecting Macs.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Nac OS-X Update Released
From: Andrez
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 04:08 AM

Yes I agree, regardless of the computing platform used, making a backup before updating is a pretty basic precaution. Sadly for reasons of slackness or lack of technical skills, consciously making a backup before updating critical system software doesn't always happen and that is where problems arise should an update patch be problematic.

One workaround for Mac users is to buy an Apple TimeMachine and set it up for automatic backup which then automatically does hourly backups for the previous hours, daily backups for the past month and weekly backups for all previous months. A backup schedule like this gives a user some insurance against problematic software updates and while the cost of the unit may be an issue for some, this needs to be balanced against the cost of losing some or all of your data. Naturally there are other (possibly cheaper) backup solutions out there as well. Anyway enough rabbiting on......

On a practical level, specific details of the issues addressed in the security update in question can be obtained on the following page on the Apple website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5130. Info re other Mac OSX updates are available here: Apple Security Updates

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mac OS-X Update Released
From: Andrez
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 04:18 AM

Oh Ok, seem like Apple has been on the case already. More info on the nature of the problem and the solution that has been made available is available here: Apple fixes Rosetta problems with new security update.

The update isn't available yet on the Apple support downloads page but I can see it via the software updates function on my laptop so it is out there and available for downloading.

Cheers,

Andrez


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