The latest updates to Apple's OS X Mavericks and iOS operating systems, both released on Monday, address a number of bugs and security
vulnerabilities. The new version of Mavericks -- officially named OS X Mavericks v10.9.4 -- fixes issues that had prevented some Macs from automatically connecting to known Wi-Fi networks, and also improves the reliability of waking from sleep mode.
A new version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7.1.2, was released alongside the Mavericks update on June 30. The mobile upgrade addresses issues in the iPhone 4 and later generations, as well as the iPod Touch 5 and later, and the iPad 2 and later. Apple also updated its web browser to Safari 7.0.5.
Multiple Security Fixes
The update to Apple’s operating system, its third so far in 2014, includes a number of changes. Apple’s support Web site lists fixes to Maverick’s Certificate Trust Policy, Dock, graphics driver, and Thunderbolt drivers, among others.
Most of the fixes target problems with Maverick’s WebKit rendering engine which allow Web sites to crash the browser or execute malicious code, according to a report on The Register. The security bugs also include a potential leak of iBooks logs that could reveal a user’s Apple ID, and a vulnerability in the Dock that allows malicious code execution. It also includes a fix to prevent malicious ZIP archives from executing code and to prevent remote server attacks, plus a way to circumvent the screensaver lock.
Apple’s iOS update also includes patches for a number of security problems, including one that allows the Siri voice command system to reveal a user’s contact list. The upgrade includes patches for the OS kernel, Mail, WebKit, and Safari. According to a report on Expert Reviews, the vulnerability to remote code execution makes the new iOS highly recommended, although warns that the patches could block use of the Pangu iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak.
A full description of the security upgrade can be found on Apple's support Web site. The company recommends the upgrade for all users.
More Updates To Come
Beyond the security updates and solving the problem with some Macs’ ability to connect to known Wi-Fi networks, OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 also addresses an issue with the background and Apple logo image on startup, and as mentioned earlier, it improves reliability when waking the computer from sleep mode.
A new version of Apple TV, being called version 6.2, was also released June 30, fixing a number of vulnerabilities to malicious code and remote attackers among Apple TV 2nd generation and later versions.
The iOS upgrade comes on the heels of Apple’s June announcement regarding iOS 8. The new iOS, which the company says will become available in the fall, is currently available in beta along with its software developers kit (SDK) through Apple’s iOS developer program. According to Apple, iOS 8 will include a number of improvements for enterprise clients with new productivity features, security and management capabilities.
Apple's focus on improving its operating systems could be key to future success, since the company alienated many users over the past year with its initial release of OS X Mavericks. Complaints continue to pour in, almost daily, from our readers disillusioned with Apple's recent missteps.