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Apple Posts 20 Patches For Panther OS

Apple releases a mega security update to Panther, Mac OS X 10.3.9, that plugged a whopping 20 holes, including several that could be exploited remotely.
Apple on Tuesday released a mega security update to Panther, Mac OS X 10.3.9, that plugged a whopping 20 holes, including several that could be exploited remotely.

The Security Update 2005-005, which patches both Mac OS X 10.3.9 and Mac OS X Server 10.3.9, covers operating system components ranging from Bluetooth short-range wireless to how the Mac handles TIFF image files.

Danish security firm Secunia rated the vulnerability package as "Highly critical," its second-from-the-top warning, and noted that the grab bag included spoofing, system access (both remote and local), and unauthorized data access flaws.

Until last Friday, when 10.4 (Tiger) went on sale, Panther was the most up-to-date Mac operating system, but had been the subject of four previous security updates so far this year. The trend toward more vulnerabilities in non-Windows operating systems, including the Macintosh, was the focus of a recent SANS Institute report, which said that the Mac and Linux were now also targeted by hackers.

"Hackers haven't stopped attacking Microsoft products, but they've started attacking everything else as well," Alan Paller, director of research for SANS, told TechWeb Monday.

The patches can be downloaded manually from Apple's Web site, or retrieved using the operating system's Software Update service.