Speed Reads


Apple has released a partial Shellshock fix, but your Mac was probably never in much danger

On Monday, Apple started releasing an update to OS X to patch potential vulnerabilities related to the Shellshock Bash flaw in Linux and Unix-based operation systems. Tech site ZDNet said that the update fixes two of the three known issues but leaves your Mac vulnerable to a third weakness that hackers might be able to exploit to get free rein of your computer. The truth is, though, your Mac was probably never in much danger.

"The vast majority of OS X users are not at risk to recently reported 'Bash' vulnerabilities," an Apple spokesman said last week. "With OS X, systems are safe by default and not exposed to remote exploits of Bash, unless users configure advanced Unix services." That's Apple, of course, but the Mac security software experts at Intego largely agree.

Intego's Derek Erwin found two ways a malicious hacker might be able to take control of your Mac — read them here — but both are "edge cases," he says, requiring "a level of technical expertise that the person configuring their account as such can patch the exploit fairly simply." If you haven't received the OS X security update yet, MacWorld has some tips on keeping your Mac safe from Shellshock. Their bottom line: "Don’t panic! Shellshock isn’t the end of the world."