Apple has issued an update for its OS X operating system one day after reports surfaced of drive-by malware targeting Java flaws.
The company said that its Java for OS X 2012-001 and 10.6 Update 7 releases would address some 12 separate vulnerabilities in the OS X version of the Java platform.
The company said that, if exploited, one or more of the vulnerabilities could allow an applet to operate outside of the Java security sandbox. Such a condition could then be used by an attacker to remotely install code on a targeted system.
It appears as if such an attack has already been launched by attackers in the wild. Researchers from F-Secure have reported active Mac malware which preys upon one of the now-patched Java flaws.
Known as Flashback, the infection has been targeting the CVE-2012-0507 Java vulnerability to infect OS X systems.
Using the vulnerability, attackers were able to infect users simply by directing them to a compromised website, where the Java vulnerability could be exploited without needing the user to download any files.
In its original report, issued Monday, F-Secure researchers had advised users to disable Java on their systems. The researchers noted that the exploit was recently added to the Blachole exploit kit.
Oracle released a flaw to address the vulnerability in Windows systems in February.
Though still rare, malware for OS X systems has become increasingly common in recent years.
Malware families such as Flashback and Mac Defender have been looking to infect OS X systems and in some cases defraud users.
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