updated 03:22 pm EST, Wed February 5, 2014
Should minimize impact of exploit
Apple has silently updated malware definitions in OS X to block anything but the latest Mac version of Adobe Flash, v18.104.22.168, according to a security memo. Adobe issued the new Flash code yesterday to deal with a serious vulnerability that could let hackers seize control of a computer. Equivalent Windows and Linux patches were also made available.
Since Snow Leopard, OS X has included Xprotect, a system through Apple can block what it considers dangerous code, mainly malware. In 2011 Xprotect began updating automatically every 24 hours. Apart from malware, though, Apple has also used the system to block outdated versions of Flash and Java, which can potentially leave people exposed to web- or email-based attacks.