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Critical iPad & iPhone update now: New patches fix 144 security flaws

iPad, iPhone and Mac computer users, listen up - this is for you. Apple has new updates to fix 144 important security flaws in your gadgets.

Yesterday at its second product release event in about a month, Apple released the brand new, ready-for-consumer OS X 10.10 Yosemite to power Mac computers. But that was not the only software release made available.

The company also brought forth a number of other software updates yesterday, mostly as security patches. The new updates included Security Update 2014-005 for OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5 and OS X Mavericks v10.9.5; OS X Server versions 2.2.5, 3.3.2 and 4.0; and iTunes 12.0.1.

Not bad for a day's work, I guess. The company also said there may be more updates coming as well, as Apple will release iOS 8.1 on Monday. We can expect that many of the bugs fixed in Yosemite also to be corrected in iOS. In fact, Yosemite itself mends 45 vulnerabilities across many parts of the operating system.

Take for example the horrific Shellshock bug that was plaguing the Bash shell that was patched separately at the end of September. There is even a fix for the POODLE flaw affecting SSL.

iTunes 12.0.1

The busiest update release today was definitely iTunes - eliminating a total of 83 vulnerabilities. (I wonder if that included the free U2 album, given away at the September event?) Most all of them were corruption issues in the WebKit browser engine. Apparently, the company has been collecting these vulnerabilities for some time from a variety of sources (including its own systems at Apple).

Apple also released OS X Server 4.0 as well, fixing 18 vulnerabilities there. Most of these addressed third-party components like PostgreSQL and Bind.

If anything, the new updates remind us of the endless demands associated with addressing security concerns in current software. You just have to wonder if Apple's new "Intergalactic Chancellor" of Security, Steven Colbert was responsible for releasing these much needed patches?

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