Java vulnerability in Mac OS X finally patched

It was a long time coming but we finally have a patch for the Java vulnerability in OS X. Apple has made the ptch available vi Software Update. Java for Mac OS X 10.4, Release 9 delivers improved reliability, security and compatibility for J2SE 5.0 and J2SE 1.4.2 on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and later. This release updates J2SE 5.0 to version 1.5.0_19 and J2SE 1.4.2 to version 1.4.2_21.

For more details on this update, please visit this website:

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:


Great Mac Blogs and sites focused on Apple

Anyone who is interested in all things Apple in general and the Mac in particular always, in my experience, seem to be well read. however, what about those who are newcomers, perhaps having migrated over from the pc. Where to begin? Well, here is my list of great sites to start off with. Its not meant to be definitive but as I have been using Macs since 1992, I have seen quite a few come and go and I think I have a good feel for those that are qulaity sources of information and tips, so here goes.

  1. The Unoffical Apple Weblog [TUAW] – this is often my first port of call for the latest news. Lately, however, it has become very iPhone-centric IMHO. Still No. 1 though, at least for now.
  2. Mac User – great site from the producers of Mac User magazine. I use it for reviews in particular.
  3. Mac World – another online manifestation of a popular quality Mac magazine.
  4. Mac Rumors – good source for latest rumors of Apple hardware.
  5. AppleInsider – another Apple rumour site.
  6. MacInTouch – a venerable site dating from 1994. Still has what it takes though!
  7. Macnn – Another of my personal favourites.
  8. CreativeMac – Good site for the more technically creative professional among you.
  9. Ars Technica – Not just Mac but covers the topic in depth.
  10. SecureMac – Great site for tips on making your Mac even more secure.

Well, these are my favourites. If you have any suggestions for other sites why not leave a comment and I’ll add the good ones.

Adobe finally patches security hole

Adobe has finally issued a patch for a security vulnerability that could have allowed a hacker to take control of your compromised system.

Adobe Reader and Acrobat version 7,8 and 9 were all affected by the scurity hole which could have caused the applications to crash before allowing unauthorised access. Adobe had previously recommended turning off Javascript support to prevent
attacks until it could issue the patch.

That can now be re-enabled with the updates available from

Earlier this week Adobe released an unrelated update for Fireworks CS4, providing bug fixes and greater stability.

PC Tools Launches iAntiVirus for Mac





With PC Tools iAntiVirus you are protected against the most nefarious cyber-threats attempting to gain access to your Mac and personal information.

Once your computer has been infected, a virus or worm will usually attempt to spread itself to your friends, family and associates by accessing your email contacts and networked PCs. The infection may also allow hackers to access files on your Mac, use it to launch attacks against other computers and websites or to send mass SPAM email.

PC Tools iAntiVirus provides real-time protection and comprehensive system scanning to ensure your Mac remains safe and virus free.

Protection against Mac specific threats

The iAntiVirus database has been designed from the ground up to detect and remove Mac specific threats. This enables a high level of protection whilst keeping memory footprint and resource usage at a minimum. The iAntiVirus database is not cluttered with signatures for Windows specific threats which your Mac is immune against.

Simple to use

iAntiVirus has been designed with the user in mind. The user interface is purely functional, making it simple to scan for, remove and manage infections.

OS X Leopard, 15MB of free disk space and Intel Mac.

Protect 3 Macs for £29.95, inc. 1 year of unlimited smart updates and customer support.

For more information visit the iAntiVirus site

Mac OS X 10.5.4 Released!


The Mac OS X 10.5.4 Update is recommended for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, and 10.5.3 Leopard. It includes general operating system improvements that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.

The update is available, as usual, via Software Update under the Apple menu. Also, to be ultra-cautios, you are recommended to back up your system before applying the update.

A standalone installer is also available from Apple Support Downloads. There are two different updaters if you take this route (Software Update automatically checks which version you need).

• The delta update lets you update from Mac OS X 10.5.3 to 10.5.4

• The combo update lets you update from Mac OS X 10.5, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, or 10.5.3 to 10.5.4

Update features:


• Includes recent Apple security updates.

• Resolves an issue with saving and reopening Adobe Creative Suite 3 files on a remote server.

• Includes additional RAW image support for several cameras.

• Addresses an issue that may result in a partially installed X11 application.

• Improves L2TP VPN client reliability.


• Addresses AirPort reliability issues with 5GHz networks.
• Addresses AirPort issues that may result in slower performance in Logic Studio or MainStage.


• Improves overall iCal reliability for meeting requests, cancellation notices, delegation, and syncing with iPhone.

• Resolves an issue that prevents deleting an iCal event without notifying the creator.

• Addresses an issue in which events in all calendars affect availability. A checkbox now enables information-only calendars to be transparent from free/busy lookups.

• Resolves a UI issue preventing delegated calendars from showing up as a separate window.

• Addresses an issue with copying and pasting attendees from one event to another.

• Resolves an issue in which iCal may not delete events after a specified time interval, even when set to do so in iCal preferences.

• Addresses an issue in which To Dos cannot be marked private.


• Addresses a potential performance issue when loading secure web pages.

• Resolves issues that may be encountered when accessing secure web pages with client certificates that reside on a smart card.

Spaces and Exposé

• Addresses an issue in which switching from a space with a Finder window keeps the Finder as the active application instead of the application residing in the destination space.

• Fixes an issue in which dragging an application from the list of application assignments in Spaces System Preferences does not assign the application to the desired space.

• Resolves an Exposé issue that may result in only a subset of windows being shown.

For information about security updates, please see this article.

Mac Trojan spotted in the wild

Sophos warns Apple Mac users not to be complacent about security as new Trojan horse surfaces

Experts at SophosLabs, Sophos’s global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have issued a warning advising Apple Mac users to ensure they are taking sufficient precautions to safeguard their computers, as a new Trojan horse for the Mac OS X platform is discovered.

The OSX/Hovdy-A

Experts at SophosLabs, Sophos’s global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have issued a warning advising Apple Mac users to ensure they are taking sufficient precautions to safeguard their computers, as a new Trojan horse for the Mac OS X platform is a Trojan horse is capable of infecting Mac OS X computers, in an attempt to steal passwords, open firewall to give access to hackers, and disable security settings. “It’s true that Mac OS X computers are far less commonly targeted than Windows PCs by hackers and malware authors, but that doesn’t mean that Apple lovers can rest on their laurels and disregard common sense when it comes to securing their computers,” said Carole  Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. “In the last twelve months, we have seen growing evidence that cybercriminals are looking increasingly for opportunities to hack into Mac computers for financial gain.

Although the problem is much smaller than on Windows, Mac users would still be wise to ensure that they run an anti-virus, keep up-to-date with security patches, and to exercise care as to which programs they choose to install on their computers.”

Personal view:

I’m not worried and won’t be installing any anti-virus software just yet on my Macs. As long as you take sensible precautions there is extremely little chance of you picking up a virus in my experience. I regard myself as a heavy user of the net, visiting hundreds of sites each week, downloading lots of files and trying out various demo software. In over 15 years I have never picked up a Mac virus, EVER, but have lost count of the amount of spyware and trojans etc I have picked up on PCs, even with anti-virus software!

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