February 26th 2014
Apple laptop and desktop computer users should install the software update issued by the company yesterday in order to safeguard themselves against a potential serious security issue. Users of Apple mobile devices should also install the update issued last week.
The fix to the company's OS X operating system is to resolve a vulnerability which previously left users open to security breaches while browsing online. It could have enabled attackers to impersonate websites and gain access to user data.
It follows last week's release of an iOS 7 software update to iPhone, iPad and iPod owners to safeguard against hackers capturing or modifying data. It was subsequently found that the problem also existed on Apple laptops and desktop computers running OS X.
The flaw could have enabled hackers to impersonate a website and intercept and capture data en route, exploiting the secure connections between Safari and websites. Secure sites' digital security certificates that enable encrypted connections between device and website were not being checked correctly, meaning that data being sent over the connection – meant to be secure – could be intercepted and captured.
Researchers have criticised Apple for not acting earlier, saying the flaw has existed for months but had not been reported publicly.