Feb. 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM ET
Apple released a major security update for Mac OS X on Tuesday. The good news is that this update patches 51 vulnerabilities in the operating system. The bad news is that it appears to be causing pesky issues for some users.
The update — which is available for both Mac OS X Lion as well as Mac OS X Snow Leopard, its predecessor — addresses security flaws in several of Apple's "popular software products and components," SecurityNewsDaily's Matt Liebowitz report. The issues addressed affect QuickTime, SquirrelMail, Webmail, PHP, Internet Sharing, ColorSync, CoreText, X11, Apache, and the Mac OS X operating system itself.
Also patched was a vulnerability related to Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) which could've potentially allowed those with malicious intent to steal a user's personal information, explains Liebowitz:
Online retailers and other companies that sell products online — Google, Amazon, eBay and Bank of America, just to list a few — use SSL certificates to verify their identities to Web browsers. If someone compromised an SSL certificate, that person could effectively "spoof" legitimate companies' websites and harvest hoards of personal information from customers who believed they were on a legitimate site.
Now while all of the security fixes are great news, there is a possible downside to this most recent Mac OS X update. According to Computerworld's Gregg Keizer, some Mac OS X users are reporting "post-update catastrophes" and saying that "after updating, every application crashed when launched."
Keizer calls attention to posts in the Apple support forums, where users are reporting issues with both Lion and Snow Leopard after the update. There are several potential user-suggested solutions to the update woes — which appear to include error messages, application crashes, and printing issues — but no official word from Apple just yet. We have reached out to the company to see if there are any plans to issue a patch ... for the patches.
So what should you do in the meantime? Update? Wait? We think that it'd be wise to grab this Mac OS X update as many of the security fixes it brings are critical.
But if there are applications which are indispensable when it comes to your everyday tasks, then you might want to peruse Apple's support forums and see if those applications appear to be affected by the "post-update catastrophes." (And if they are, wait until there are reliable solutions!)
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