For the longest time, Apple’s Mac OS X operating system had been considered one of the most secure OSes on the planet. In recent years, though, the Mac has been gaining traction in terms of market share – which has inevitably led to more malware being written for the platform.
One rather infamous piece of malware that has targeted the Mac is called Flashback. This trojan took advantage of a vulnerability in Oracle’s Java software. However, this vulnerability was already patched by Oracle for other operating systems; Apple simply lagged behind in updating the OS X version.
That’s why this particular trojan was so popular. Apple sent out patches to prevent the infection, but most of the problem lied in the Java software that Apple still wasn’t updating quickly enough.
But that seems to be a thing of the past for Mac users. Apple just released software updates for Java on Lion and Snow Leopard. Oracle, on the other hand, released the same update for other platforms, meaning that Apple may now be getting better at updating OS X’s version of Java.
The update – for OS X and other operating systems – prevents web browsers from automatically running a Java applet. You can obviously make your computer run those applets by clicking on the “Inactive plug-in” button, but your system should be more secure because you’re the one who is permitting any Java applet to run.
I hope Apple keeps this pace up. As a Mac user, I’ve always been a little disappointed that my Windows friends would get their updates quicker than me, but I’m glad that is a thing of the past. Hopefully we can start getting some other useful things from Windows – like games and the hardware to game on![MacRumors]