PSA – Mac Users need the latest update

Apple Logo, image from apple.comJust a quick update for today, Apple released a security update for Mac OS X that should be installed on every Mac on the planet as soon as possible. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute and the Department of Homeland Security discovered the vulnerability and advised Apple, who quickly put out a system update. The vulnerability was part of how OS X synchronizes the computer’s clock to keep the time correct.

Screenshot showing how to turn on automatic updates in OS X, image from apple.comThis vulnerability affects all the most recent Mac OS X versions: Mountain Lion 10.8.5, Mavericks 10.9.5 and Yosemite 10.10.1. To Apple’s credit, they not only issued an update quickly, but also made it automatic and seamless (if you have automatic updates turned on), so you don’t need to do anything except leave your Mac running for awhile. If you don’t have this feature turned on, just:

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  1. Screenshot of Mac OS X Software Updates
    click to view larger

    Go to Software Update on your main Mac Menu (click the apple in the top-left of your screen), or open the App Store and click the Updates tab.

  2. Click the Update All button on the update screen (or click each separate Update button for each of the available updates showing).
  3. If you see a warning that you must restart the computer to apply the updates, be sure to finish and save any work before proceeding.

If you’re not sure if the update has been applied, just perform step 1 above. If an update is available, it will show there. If nothing shows, then you’ve already got it, as Apple released the update on Monday. If you like tinkering, you can check for the update by opening Terminal, and typing “what /usr/sbin/ntpd” – then match the result with the list below:

  • On Mountain Lion, the result should be: ntp-77.1.1
  • On Mavericks, the result should be: ntp-88.1.1
  • On Yosemite, the result should be: ntp-92.5.1

If the version number Terminal shows you doesn’t match the above, then you need to apply the latest update.

Happy Holidays!

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