Apple has pushed out its first ever automatic patch for Mac OS X. This was done in response to a critical flaw in the Network Time Protocol, which would allow attackers to gain unrestricted root access to the computer. It looks like the company is finally taking a proactive approach to online security for a change.
The Network Time Protocol is a system that works to keep computer clocks in sync, while the most current flaw was discovered in the 4.2.8 version of the NTP. An advisory by the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team noted that the bug that were discovered could be exploited by hackers with even a low level of skill. Allowing just about anyone to execute code on vulnerable systems.
Most Apple systems allow security updates to be installed automatically, but Apple itself has usually decided against doing so; instead prompting users to install updates on their own. It would appear that this particular flaw has the company worried enough that it wants the problem fixed as soon as possible.
However, it should be noted that only Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite are receiving the update. While the flaw may also exist in older version of the Mac OS, those are too old and are no longer supported by Apple.
[Source: Ars Technica]