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Apple Releases Security Updates for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Bringing Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard up to speed with its more recent big cat siblings, Apple has issued Leopard Security Update 2012-003 and a Flashback Removal Security Update, the latter of which provides a tool for excising the most common variants of the infamous Flashback malware. Previously, Apple had released versions of the Flashback malware removal tool for 10.7 Lion and 10.6 Snow Leopard (see “Apple Releases Flashback Malware Removal Tools,” 12 April 2012).

After installing the Flashback Removal Security Update, the removal tool will run automatically in the background. If the Flashback malware is found, you’ll be notified via a dialog that it has been removed. In some instances, however, you may need to restart your computer to remove the malware completely. Additionally, the Flashback security update disables the Java plug-in for Safari, preventing unintentional use of Java applets in the Web browser.

The Leopard Security Update 2012-003 mirrors the recent release of Safari for 10.7 Lion and 10.6 Snow Leopard (see “Apple Hardens Security with Mac OS X 10.7.4 and Safari 5.1.7,” 9 May 2012), which disables elderly versions of Adobe Flash (10.1.102.64 or older) that are incapable of updating themselves to the current version. If you are running an older version, you’ll be redirected to download and install a current release from Adobe’s Web site.

Both security updates should appear in Software Update, but they can also be downloaded via Apple’s support Web site. The Leopard Security Update 2012-003 weighs in at 1.11 MB, while the Flashback Removal Security Update comes in at 1.23 MB. Both require an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8.

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