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Apple Works To Stave Off Big Mac Attack

Apple Inc. on Thursday issued patches to plug five separate security holes in software included on its Mac OS X computers. Mac users can download the free updates through the Mac's built-in software update feature or directly from Apple downloads.

The five flaws were vulnerabilities identified in January as part of the controversial Month of Apple Bugs project. Among those addressed in this go-round's batch are bugs in iChat, Apple's built-in instant messaging software and Finder, the Mac's ubiquitous file-search capability.

Mac users hope that Apple soon will issue a remedy for the flaw the MoAB curators detailed in the software update function on Apple. That's the same program that the company uses to push security fixes to its customers. I've received a half dozen e-mails from Mac users wondering how to mitigate the threat from this particular flaw. By my count, Apple still has to address at least 15 Mac-specific vulnerabilities highlighted in the MoAB project. But it's not clear which, if any, of these flaws are serious.

While there are scant indications that any nefarious characters are busy exploiting the weaknesses noted by the MoAB crew, it might benefit Apple and their customers if the firm explained how users could minimize their exposure to any of these potentially serious vulnerabilities.

"It should be very interesting to see what security changes Apple institutes in OS X 10.5, and if they dedicate more resources to improving the base security of the operating system," said Gartner analyst Rich Mogull. "Now that Apple is becoming more of a target, they should take advantage of the opportunity to improve fundamental platform security before we start seeing more exploits in the wild."

By Brian Krebs  |  February 16, 2007; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Latest Warnings , New Patches , Safety Tips  
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