RealTime IT News

Apple Updates Snow Leopard With Security Fixes

Barely two weeks after releasing Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple is now out with an update to address several security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues.

In addition to the Snow Leopard update, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has also released patches for security issues affecting Mac OS 10.4.11 and 10.5.8.

For Snow Leopard, Apple has issued a security advisory affecting Adobe Flash. It is also patching OS X 10.5.8 and 10.4.11 for the same set of Flash updates.

Apple shipped the original 10.6.0 release with an out-of-date and at-risk version of Adobe Flash. Adobe had been advising Snow Leopard users to update their Flash players manually by visiting adobe.com.

The Flash security issues have been public since July, and received a patch from Adobe the same month.

Apple accompanied the Flash update with a variety of fixes to address Snow Leopard's compatibility issues with printers and Sierra Wireless 3G modems.

The company also released fixes for Snow Leopard's DVD playback issues, as well as for Mail and SMTP mail servers.

On the security front, users of older versions of Mac OS X are getting more updates than Snow Leopard users. Apple is now addressing at least 16 security issues affecting Mac OS X 10.4.11 and 10.5.8.

Among the updates are several for open source components that Apple includes in Mac OS X. The open source updates include the Clam anti-virus application, CUPS printing system, MySQL database and the PHP dynamic language.

Apple is also addressing image-related flaws in its updates for Mac OS X 10.4.11 and 10.5.8. The ColorSync engine is being patched for a flaw whereby simply viewing a maliciously crafted image could lead to arbitrary code execution.

Apple is patching its CoreGraphics engine for a pair of vulnerabilities. One is triggered when a Mac user opens a maliciously crafted PDF file. The other flaw in CoreGraphics can be triggered simply by visiting a malicious Web site.

"A heap buffer overflow exists in the drawing of long text strings," Apple said in its advisory. "Visiting a maliciously crafted Web site may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved bounds checking."

The update for Mac OS X 10.5.8 is the first since Apple provided a Java update for the platform earlier this month.