Apple fixes Leopard Java flaws

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Apple fixes Leopard Java flaws

Apple has admitted that its Leopard operating system contains an old version of Java that could be an open door for hackers.

The Java flaw could allow a hacker to take control of a user's machine if they visit a malicious web page. The patch can be downloaded from Apple. However, Apple has not provided a patch for the older Tiger operating system.

The patch updates Leopard to Java versions 1.6.0_15, 1.5.0_20, and 1.4.2_22, which Sun Microsystems released on 5 August.

Apple has long been selling its products on the basis that they are more secure than Microsoft's, but that image might soon change.

The firm seems to have rushed to release the latest version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard, last week in a bid to put a spoiler on the launch of Windows 7. But some important applications failed to work because third-party developers were not ready, and the operating system shipped with known security holes.

For example, Apple shipped Snow Leopard with an old version of Adobe's Flash Player that leaves users vulnerable to software exploits embedded in Flash videos.

Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said in his blog that Mac users who applied security patches did not deserve to have their security downgraded because they upgraded to Snow Leopard.

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