For the first time ever, Apple has pushed out an automatic OS X update to repair a security flaw the company says was too serious too wait for users to patch themselves. The flaw, a glitch in the network time protocol–software that synchronizes clocks across systems and the Internet–was found by Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute and was made public in a security bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security last Friday.
If exploited, the flaw allows hackers to access a system and execute code.
Apple has had the technology to automatically install updates on users’ devices for over two years, according to The Verge. However, the company had heretofore insisted on prompting users to consent to and authenticate the updates. Ars Technica reports that the company has an auto-updating database of malware definitions that prevents users from installing known malicious software. Microsoft routinely updates its software without user intervention.
[h/t: The Verge]