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Mac App Store's slow updates expose users to security risks

Gregg Keizer, Computerworld | May 19, 2011
Apple's Mac App Store puts users at risk because it's slow to update vulnerable software, a security researcher said Wednesday.

Storms was referring to Apple's sluggishness in updating third-party components within Mac OS X. In the past, Apple has sometimes patched those components months after the original developer or open-source project has issued updates.

Although not in direct response to those charges, Apple last year announced it would stop bundling Adobe Flash -- one of the components it was often slow to update -- with Mac OS X, saying at the time that, "The best way for users to always have the most up-to-date and secure version is to download it directly from Adobe."

"If Apple can't update software containing critical security patches to the App Store in a timely fashion, users might be wiser getting their software via a more conventional route," said Graham Cluley, a senior security technology consultant with U.K.-based Sophos, in a blog post Wednesday.

Opera is the only major browser that is available on the Mac App Store; Apple does not distribute its own Safari on the online market.

App Store version of Opera
Apple hasn't updated Opera on the Mac App Store since March, leaving users vulnerable to attack, a researcher has argued.


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