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Apple push security fixes to protect against malware

Apple have released security fixes for OS 10.5 Leopard, to protect against Flashback malware. The update also disables outdated Java and Flash functionality.

Apple machines were infected last month, infecting more than 600,000 Macintosh computers. Apple released two security fixes last night for OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Apple have been targeted recently by malware makers and the Flashback code exploited a record 600,000 machines. It spread across the globe by exploiting a Java vulnerability. Last month Apple released code for OS X 10.7 and 10.6 Snow Leopard. Older versions of the operating system don’t get priority, which is why users should always be sure they are updating regularly.

OS X 10.5 now has a Flashback removal Security Update. The release notes add This update removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware. If the Flashback malware is found, a dialog will notify you that malware was removed. In some cases, the update may need to restart your computer in order to completely remove the Flashback malware.”

Another update was released by Apple which disables Java and “versions of Adobe Flash Player that do not include the latest security updates, and provides the option to get the current version from Adobe’s website.”

25% of the infections were linked to OS 10.5 users. Security expert Brad Arkin said “We welcome today’s initiative by Apple to encourage Mac users to stay up-to-date: With the Apple Safari 5.1.7 update released today, Apple is disabling older versions of Flash Player (specifically Flash Player 10.1.102.64 and earlier) and directing users to the Flash Player Download Center, from where they can install the latest, most secure version of Flash Player.”

Sophos technology consultant Graham Cluley said “It’s encouraging to see Apple has not left users of this older version of the Mac OS X operating system completely out in the cold when it comes to protecting against the latest threats. Clearly they realize that it’s not good for the Apple Mac’s image if older computers connected to the Internet are harboring malware that could cause problems for others in the Mac community.”

Kitguru says: Make sure you update your operating system.

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