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updated 6/24/2011 3:18:48 PM ET 2011-06-24T19:18:48

Apple has released a security update to fix critical flaws in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, bumping the operating system version up to 10.6.8.

The update addresses flaws — in AirPort, QuickTime and the App Store, among others — that could allow an attacker to remotely run code on a user's computer, or cause programs to unexpectedly quit, Apple wrote on its support page.

With this software update, Apple also took the opportunity to put the memory of its recent MacDefender malware problem behind it.

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The updated Snow Leopard, which was released yesterday (June 23), includes a feature to identify and remove the MacDefender Trojan and its known variants, including MacProtector and MacSecurity, all of which have plagued Mac users for more than a month by hijacking their systems and trying to scam them into purchasing fake anti-virus software.

The next major release of Mac OS X, 10.7 Lion, is expected to be released next month.

The Mac OS X 10.6.8 update can be downloaded from Apple's website or via the Software Update preference on Apple computers.

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