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Apple has released a security update to its Mac OS X operating systems to plug multiple security holes. Bugs in third-party components have also been addressed by the security update.

The availability of Mac OS X 10.4.9 and Security Update 2007-003 on Tuesday follows a month in which the security of the OS was put under the spotlight by the Month of Apple Bugs project, which took place in January and November's Month of Kernel Bugs.

Protection against most of these unpatched bugs was previously available only through unofficial updates or various workarounds.

The flaws covered security bugs in both Apple Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server versions 10.3.x and 10.4.x and carried a variety of risks, the most serious of which might have allowed hackers to inject hostile code onto vulnerable systems. Bypassing security restrictions or launching denial of service attacks was also possible as a result of the flaws, which affect both Intel-based and PowerPC-based Apple systems.

Various bugs in the way Mac OS X mounted disc images, memory corruption risks associated with opening maliciously constructed images, kernel bugs, a brace of flaws in the AppleTalk networking protocol, and a vulnerability involving printing, are among the highlights of the patch batch.

In fairness, there's been little or nothing by way of reports that suggested the flaws were the subject of active hacking attacks.

Many of the security fixes address vulnerabilities in products from other vendors that ship with Apple OS X or OS X Server, including bugs in Adobe Flash and OpenSSH.

The security updates can be either downloaded and installed via Software Update preferences, or directly from Apple Downloads as explained in a security advisory from Apple here. A summary of the update has been published by security clearing house US CERT here. ®

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