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Apple releases Mac OS X security update to fix major flaw

26 Feb 2014
Mac OS X Mavericks home screen

Apple has finally released a security update for its Mac OS X platform in order to fix a major coding error.

The issues first came to light on Friday when Apple released a fix for iPad and iPhone devices. This sent the security sector scrambling to find out what the issue involved.

Experts soon discovered that a major flaw existed in the iOS system that rendered the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology used by iOS to authenticate devices with key websites, such as Facebook or banking sites, was redundant.

This was due to a coding error, where one line of code was accidentally entered twice. Despite releasing a fix for iOS devices on Friday, the firm did not release a fix for the Mac OS X platform, leading to concerns in the security community that millions were at risk.

However, on Tuesday evening Apple announced on its website that a fix was available. “The OS X Mavericks v10.9.2 Update is recommended for all OS X Mavericks users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac,” the firm said.

The update covers a number of areas beyond the security fix including stability improvements and upgrades, such as call waiting support for FaceTime audio and video calls.

Independent computer security analyst Graham Cluley urged Mac device owners to install the update as soon as possible, especially if they are in firms where such machines are in widespread use.

"It is now obviously important that iMac and MacBook users update their copy of Mavericks at the earliest opportunity (users of earlier versions of Mac OS X are not thought to be affected), before online criminals manage to take advantage of the flaw," he wrote.

The incident underlines the security threats that firms face from all angles and that no matter how strident they attempt to make their own security processes, outside issues can always occur too, even from firms with good reputations such as Apple.

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Dan Worth
About

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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