Apple releases its first-ever automated security update for Macs to patch an NTP bug
Apple released its first automated security update for Macs late last night. First reported by Reuters, the critical update safeguards the computer from newly identified bugs that could be used by hackers to remotely gain access to a computer.
Unlike previous updates, wherein the company would notify users and ask them before downloading and installing the update file on their computer, the automated update quietly makes its way to the system. The company introduced this update process two years ago, but it wasn’t until yesterday that it used it.
This is a welcome move by the company, which has often been criticized for waiting for a major software update release to push the security updates. The move signals the company’s intention to provide users with quicker security updates. The company wants to “to protect customers as quickly as possible due to the severity of the vulnerabilities,” Apple spokesman Bill Evans said. “The update is seamless. It doesn’t even require a restart.”
The malware that the company fixed with the update affects the network time protocol component, or NTP of the operating system. NTP is used for synchronizing clocks on computer systems. The vulnerability was first spotted by Department of Homeland Security and the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute in a security bulletin.