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Apple software update includes security improvements

Warwick Ashford

Just two months after releasing iOS 5.1, Apple has released an update of the operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The update, iOS 5.1.1, is mainly aimed at fixing various bugs, including those that prevented the newest iPad from switching between 2G and 3G networks. But it also addresses three security vulnerabilities, updating Safari and WebKit.

Safari 5.1.7 is described by Apple as an update that enhances performance in low-memory conditions.

In terms of security, Apple has made the Safari installation process plug-in aware and now disables outdated versions of the Adobe Flash plug-in when they are found, according to Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer at security firm Qualys.

"After Apple's recent auto-disabling Java release, this is Apple's second action, reaching across normal vendor boundaries and experimenting with common sense, best practice guidelines," he said.

Apple has also released an update for its OS X operating system. Mac OS X 10.7.4 is the most recent version of Apple's Lion Operating System.

"This release fixes more than 30 vulnerabilities in the core OS, Apple Applications such as Quicktime and some included software such as Samba, Ruby and PHP. A similar update for Snow Leopard 10.6.8 is available as Security Update 2012-0002," said Kandek.

Qualys recommends installing the updates as quickly as possible.


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