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Apple Releases OS X 10.7.5 Software Updates

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 19-09-2012

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Apple Software UpdateApple recently released security updates for both OS X Snow Leopard and Lion along with firmware updates for MacBook systems and for iPhoto, Aperture, iOS and Mountain Lion. All of the updates are expected to be available through a Software Update, though they can also be downloaded from the Apple Support download pages.

The security issues that these updates address include problems with web sharing as well as problems with DNS management services, which could potentially result in a denial-of-service attack on the system. In addition to that, these updates address revocation of a compromised root certificate from TrustWave that would let an attacker intercept personal information.

Updates to the systems’ directory services, core image-handling libraries, kernel, and log-in window services also fix bugs that allowed attackers to acquire passwords as well as other personal information as a result of the user accidentally executing an unwanted program.

Most of these problems are only potential issues that hackers have yet to exploit, though that could all change now that the inefficiencies have been made public. That is why Apple is releasing these updates, as added security from uninvited guests.

Aside from all of the security fixes, the OS X 10.7.5 update for Lion looks into some usability issues, including:

  • Improves compatibility connecting to Active Directory servers
  • Improves WiFi reliability for iMac
  • Resolves an issue using Spotlight to search an SMB server
  • Resolves an issue where icons in Launchpad may get rearranged after restart

There is also an OS X 10.7.5 server variant update which fixes some significantly and commonly used services via:

  • Maintaining Spotlight index when changing share point settings
  • Improving reliability of password authentication
  • Reliably booting NetRestore images created with System Image Utility
  • Improving reliability when changing an Xsan metadata controller into a client
  • Creating and connecting to Open Directory master
  • Using Software Update Server to automatically download and enable software updates
  • Using Profile Manager to set the Mobility sync frequency settings for mobile accounts

Source: CNET – Apple releases OS X 10.7.5 and Snow Leopard security updates

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Mountain Lion Upgrade Not Compatible with Older Macs

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 08-08-2012

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OS X Mountain LionApple’s newest OS X, Mountain Lion, has officially been released, albeit with its fair share of problems, like draining battery power and having excruciatingly long load times on some devices. In spite of  that, the official system requirements for the update are also all over the internet and, according to the specs, some Apple devices won’t be getting the Mountain Lion update.

According to the requirements on Apple’s website, some older Macs won’t be able to handle the Mountain Lion upgrade due to the fact that they are simply outdated. Apple’s website has a list of all the devices that are eligible for the Mountain Lion treatment, which includes:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

The reason that some devices are incompatible with Mountain Lion is that the new operating system is 64-bit. Even though some of the incompatible Macs have 64-bit capable processors, their EFI firmware remains at 32-bit and will only work with a 32-bit OS kernel. So essentially, if your system is unable to run a 64-bit kernel and the extensions, it cannot run Mountain Lion.

In addition to that, the drivers for the older Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics that are in a number of these incompatible Maces are still 32-bit versions as well. That means they probably won’t be able to handle the more graphics intensive Mountain Lion while Apple also probably doesn’t feel like it is worth the time and resources to support them.

Even if your Mac is unable to upgrade to Mountain Lion, you can rest easy knowing that Apple will continue to support Lion for quite a while, including updates. Although, if you really want that Mountain Lion update then you are going to have to replace your Mac. A full list of eligible and ineligible Macs can be found here.

Source: CNET – Older Apple computers left out of Mountain Lion upgrade

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Apple No Longer Claiming OS X Immune to Viruses

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 27-06-2012

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Apple OS XWell, it has finally happened. Apple has officially removed the statement from its website stating that the Mac OS X operating system isn’t susceptible to viruses. It’s no surprise that this has happened in the wake of the Flashback malware that plagued Apple users recently. There’s nothing more embarrassing than claiming that you are virus-proof than getting a virus, especially when you’re as big a company as Apple.

Apple removed the statement, “It doesn’t get PC viruses” and replaced it with “It’s built to be safe” and “Safeguard your data. By doing nothing” with “Safety. Built in.” According to Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant for Sophos U.S., Apple is finally starting to take security seriously.

In a recent blog post Cluley was quoted as saying, “I view the changes in the messages pushed out by their marketing department as some important baby-steps. Let’s hope more Apple Mac owners are also learning to take important security steps — such as installing antivirus protection.”

In addition to changing the messages, Apple has released a security guide for the iOS and also announced in February that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion would include a new feature known as Gatekeeper (I am the Keymaster…) that would restrict which applications users can install on their mobile devices.

Kaspersky Lab Co-Founder Eugene Kaspersky has also urged Apple to increase its virus protection. In a recent interview with Computerworld Australia, Kaspersky stated that Apple needed more time to extend time frames for supporting older operating systems. For reference sake, Apple discontinued support for OSX 10.5 Leopard when OS X 10.7 was released.

According to Kaspersky, “Apple has stopped supporting some older operating systems but there are still millions of people using these systems. It means if vulnerabilities are found, any kind of bad guys will be free to infect these machines.”

Source: PC World – Apple Quietly Pulls Claims of Virus Immunity

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