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Apple's fourth Leopard spits out 25 patches

Mac OS X 10.5.4 lands

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Apple has coughed up 25 security updates that come bundled with yesterday's release of Mac OS X 10.5.4.

The firm said its latest Leopard release addresses operating system and application performance issues and fixes a heap of security flaws.

The update affects operating system components that include CoreTypes, c++filt, Net-SNMP, Ruby, Tomcat, VPN, Alias Manager and Webkit.

Six of the vulnerabilities affect the Ruby programming language. Apple said: "Multiple memory corruption issues exist in Ruby's handling of strings and arrays, the most serious of which may lead to arbitrary code execution."

The company said the update fixes the bug “by performing additional validation of strings and arrays".

The Alias Manager patch only affects Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Mac OS X Server 10.4.11 and addresses a “memory corruption issue” that “exists in the handling of AFP volume mount information in an alias data structure. Resolving an alias containing maliciously crafted volume mount information may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution”, said Apple.

It reckoned the update fixes the issue by performing additional validation of alias data structures.

Apple’s update, which can be downloaded from the company’s website or through the Mac OS X software update control panel, resolves problems with saving and reopening Adobe Creative Suite 3 files on a remote server. RAW image support has also been added for several cameras and the update improves reliability for the L2TP VPN client.

In addition, the update also makes Apple’s wireless AirPort hardware more reliable with 5GHz 802.11n and 802.11a networks, and with a number of music apps. iCal syncing has been improved and the firm has issued several fixes for its calendar app.

Safari performance problems that occur when loading secure web pages and secure web pages with client certificates residing on a smart card have also been resolved.

The Webkit patch addresses a security flaw first exposed by James Urquhart who pointed out to Apple that "visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.”

It said that the update “addresses the issue through improved bounds checking”. The firm has updated the version of Safari for Mac OS X 10.5.4 to 3.1.2. That version of the Apple-flavoured web browser is also now available for Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Windows XP/Vista.

The updates are available from Apple here, or via Mac OS X's Software Update feature. ®

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