Apple updates Snow Leopard, resolves many security issues

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Apple has issued the third maintenance update for its "Snow Leopard" Mac OS X operating system, patching dozens of vulnerabilities and bringing the software up to version 10.6.3. Included are many fixes and improvements for issues related to printing, wireless networking, OpenGL-based apps, QuickTime X, third-party external USB devices support, Time Machine backups to a Time Capsule, Exchange support and iDisk syncing reliability.

Apple has also beefed up its Crash Reporter utility to automate the process reporting application and system crashes from system logs and System Profiler. This involves collecting diagnostic and usage information from your Mac and sending it to Apple for analysis, with the end goal of improving Apple's products and services. The information submitted is anonymous and only sent when you click the "Send to Apple" button in Crash Reporter dialogs.

In total there are 69 patches for security related issues, several of which may lead to arbitrary code execution, and a bunch others apply only to server-related components such as Wiki Server, Apache, and iChat Server. All updates are available via Software Update and, as usual, the size of your download will vary by the type of Mac you have and how updated you keep it. Check out a detailed list of features and updates in Mac OS X 10.6.3 after the jump.

General operating system fixes and improvements provided for:

  • Performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 when running in 64-bit mode.
  • Printing reliability.
  • Sleep and wake reliability when using Bonjour wake on demand.
  • A color issue in iMovie with HD content.
  • Glowing, stuck, or dark pixels when viewing video from the iMac (Late 2009) built-in iSight camera.
  • An issue in which the Finder reports a -36 error when copying directories to a drive formatted as FAT32.
  • Reliability of photo screen savers.
  • Compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications.
  • An issue in which shadows in PDF of Aperture book are black instead of gray.
  • An issue in which the microphone level in iChat may not increase the volume after Reducing it to prevent a feedback event.
  • The reliability of certain third-party USB devices.
  • The Accounts preference pane can now limit login to members of groups hosted by a non-Apple directory service, such as Active Directory.
  • DNS server ordering as specified in Network Preferences and DNS reliability. For details about how Mac OS X v10.6 handles unresponsive DNS servers, see this article.
  • The reliability and compatibility of QuickTime X.
  • Data Collection: Mac OS X v10.6.3 can collect diagnostic and usage information from your Mac and send it to Apple for analysis automatically. The information is only collected with your explicit consent, and is submitted anonymously to Apple.

    AirPort and wireless networking fixes for:

  • General reliability for wireless connections.
  • Improvements to 802.1X reliability, including closed network connections , and WPA2.
  • Sleep/wake reliability for current iMac models when connected to 2.4GHz wireless networks.

    Date and Time fixes provided for:

  • Daylight Saving Time rules to reflect recent changes in areas including Argentina, Fiji, Pakistan, and Antarctica.

    Directory Services fixes provided for:

  • An issue that could cause the system to become unstable or unresponsive when bound to an LDAP server using SSL.
  • An issue in which the 802.1X Loginwindow Profile is in place, but the wireless network is not available, directory authentication over Ethernet will now succeed.

    File Services fixes provided for:

  • An issue that could prevent saving files from Microsoft Office 2008 to an SMB server volume.
  • Issues copying, renaming or deleting files on an SMB server volume.
  • Clear-text authentication enabling to an SMB file server.

    iCal fixes provided for:

  • changing the invitation list for a single instance of a recurring event will no longer "un-book" the location of the meeting.
  • An issue in which new invitations on a Microsoft Exchange server might not appear in the Notification pane.
  • Properly showing recurring Microsoft Exchange events which have a set end date.

    Mail fixes and improvements provided for:

  • An issue that causes background message colors to display incorrectly in Mail.
  • Signing and encrypting messages, such as when using an Entrust PKI (Public Key Infrastructure).
  • Synchronization of the "Sent" mailbox on a Microsoft Exchange server.
  • An issue that could cause Mail to delete mailboxes on a Microsoft Exchange server that is hosted behind an Internet load balancer.

    Mobile Accounts fixes and improvements provided for:

  • Home directory synchronization when the home directory is stored on an SMB file server.
  • Properly warning mobile users in an Active Directory domain about upcoming password expiration.
  • Creating a Mobile Account that uses smart card authentication, without using a command-line tool.
  • Reliability in background synchronization.

    MobileMe fixes and improvements provided for:

  • An issue in which movies could not be viewed in Safari when visiting www.me.com/gallery.
  • Reliability of iDisk Sync.
  • Reliability of syncing calendars.

    Parental Control fixes and improvements provided for:

  • Restoring Safari bookmarks functionality to parental controls users.
  • Better handling of Safari bookmark management when using Parental Controls.
  • More reliable application launch restrictions when using Parental Control.

    Rosetta fixes provided for:

  • An issue that prevented files with the # or & characters in their names from opening in Rosetta applications.

    System Imaging fixes and improvements provided for:

  • The asr command, which now accepts the "--allow fragmented catalog" option, for restoring images that have a fragmented catalog file. For details, type man asr in Terminal.
  • The installer command, which can now be used to upgrade a Mac OS X v10.5 system with a QuickTime 7 Pro key installed to Mac OS X v10.6.

    Time Machine fixes and improvements provided for:

  • Reliability from Time Machine-to-Time Capsule backups, including multiple computers.
  • An issue with Time Machine in which system backups could be restored onto unsupported Mac configurations.
  • An issue in which a Time Machine backup might not work using an AirPort connection.

    Xsan fixes and improvements provided for:

  • The reliability of Fibre channel connections to an Xserve RAID.
  • An issue that could cause the size of certain Fibre channel LUNs to be mis-reported.


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