Whether you’re a Windows or Mac user, major software vendors have released multiple patches in the past several days to close existing security holes within your system. There are also important security fixes available for popular applications like Adobe Acrobat, Mozilla Firefox and QuickTime.
Beginning with Apple, there is a security patch for Mac OS X 10.4 (Security Update 2008-001). This single patch fixes five security vulnerabilities. Additionally, an upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5.2 has become available. This upgrade fixes eight security holes and also updates functionality over 10.4. Apple’s software update feature should detect the availability of these fixes, if enabled.
Continuing with Apple, QuickTime 7.4.1 became available last week. This version fixes a security hole where a malicious web site could remotely execute code on your system without your knowledge. This includes both Windows and OS X platforms. Note that QuickTime may require you to manually download this fix.
In the Microsoft world, today is the second Tuesday of the month – also pleasantly known as “Microsoft Patch Tuesday”. Up to twelve security patches may be available for your PC (depending on your version and what’s installed). Seven of these are rated as Critical and the rest are rated as Important. If your PC is set to automatically download patches, then you should be OK. Windows users can also download these updates manually by going to http://update.microsoft.com
Note: you’ll probably have to reboot your PC for some of these patches to take effect. Also, Microsoft may try to ‘sneak’ Internet Explorer 7 in the download if you’re still using IE 6.
Users of Adobe Acrobat reader should upgrade to the latest level: 8.1.2 If you haven’t upgraded Adobe Acrobat for a while, now is as good a time as any – versions below 8.x are commonly exploited by malicious web sites! In fact, code to exploit this latest Acrobat issue is already circulating the Internet.
Finally, Mozilla has released a new version of Firefox, 18.104.22.168, that fixes ten security issues. Firefox automatic update, if enabled, should find the update and download it for you.
As attackers focus less on servers and more on breaking into users’ machines via insecure applications, it’s more important than ever to keep your PC up to date – especially while browsing the Internet!
Good luck & keep safe!