Apple pushes automatic security patch to Macs for first time

For the first time, Apple has sent an automated security update to Macintosh computers to protect against a newly discovered security vulnerability.

The patch, sent Monday, fixed the network time protocol (NTP) — used for synchronizing clocks — on Mac OS X systems, Apple spokesman Bill Evans told Reuters. A bug was found there by Carnegie Mellon University researchers that could have allowed hackers to take remote control of a computer, according to an alert sent Friday by Homeland Security.

While every previous Apple software security upgrade had first asked for the user’s permission to install, Apple believed this vulnerability to be critical enough to warrant an automatic update, Evans told Reuters.

“The update is seamless,” Evans said. “It doesn’t even require a restart.”

Evans told the Wall Street Journal that the patch was pre-emptive, and no attacks targeting Macs have occurred. “We haven’t seen any activity on OS X targeting these vulnerabilities,” he said.

 

At top: Apple iMac computers. (Apple photo)

 

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