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Apple updates Java distribution for Lion, Snow Leopard

updated 06:00 pm EDT, Tue April 3, 2012

Addresses new Flashback vulnerability

Apple has released an updated Java version for 10.6.x Snow Leopard and made available an updated optional Java distribution for Lion, both coming just one day after warnings of a new version of the Flashback malware that can exploit a Java vulnerability. Although not confirmed in the public release notes, the update patches the vulnerability, bringing it up-to-date with Oracle's own patched version, 1.6.0_31.

The Lion version is referred to simply as "Java for OS X" with a tag "2012-001" while the Snow Leopard version is called "Java for Mac OS X 10.6" with the tag "Update 7." Snow Leopard was the last OS X release to automatically include Java; Lion shipped without a built-in distribution, and prompted users to download one if they tried to run a program or visit a website that required it.

The update patches multiple vulnerabilities that existed in Java 1.6.0_29, in particular the bug that allowed the Flashback malware to operate without requesting user permission to be installed. Untrusted Java applets could, under the previous version, execute arbitrary code outside the Java sandbox. In all, the update addresses a dozen vulnerabilities, marked as CVE-2011-3563, CVE-2011-5035, and CVE-2012-0497 through 0507 inclusive.

For many users (or those running systems earlier than 10.5), a simpler solution was to simply disable Java in Safari or their browser of choice. Though there are still web sites that use it, security issues have lessened its popularity over the years, to the point where having it disabled is a viable option for many users. Apple deprecated its own custom versions of Java with Lion, making its installation optional but also allowing users to get updated versions that are supported directly by Oracle rather than wait months for Apple to release its own version.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. facebook_Arthur

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012

    -1

    snow leopard support nil?

    I have 2 macs, one is a macbook running snow leopard. The mini running Lion has received the update, when are they ever going to release the update for snow leopard? If not, how do I remove Java from my macbook? It's 4 years old, and Lion will not run well enough on it.

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