Apple has shipped a new point release of Mountain Lion that brings its flagship operating system up to version 10.8.3. The update includes a number of security and bug fixes and a handful of new features too, such as the ability to redeem iTunes gift cards using your Mac’s built-in camera, as well as Boot Camp support for dual-booting Windows 8 and Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3 TB hard drive.
Among the security fixes listed by Apple are several citing a risk of arbitrary code execution, including a particularly interesting one that could allow a Java Web Start application to be launched upon visiting a maliciously crafted webpage, even if the Java browser plug-in is disabled.
The release also fixes a strange issue discovered last month that crashed pretty much any OS X application when the text “File:///“ (which denotes a local URL) was entered into a document or text box. Although normally this wouldn’t be much of an issue, it could certainly be exploited by pranksters sending the string over iMessage on iOS for example, crashing their contact’s Messages app.
Apparently it was a flaw in Apple's background data recognition software, which aims to auto-highlight text such as URLs displayed by applications like word processors, text editors, browsers and email clients.
Mac OS X 10.8.3 also includes the latest version of Safari (6.0.3), and for owners of a retina MacBook Pro laptop, Macobserver.com claims that the update will squeeze 20 minutes more out of their Mac's battery.
A complete list of improvements can be found below:
Mac OS X 10.8.3
This update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users and includes features and fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including:
- The ability to redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using your Mac's built-in camera
- Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8
- Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3 TB hard drive
- A fix for an issue that could cause a file URL to quit apps unexpectedly
- A fix for an issue that may cause Logic Pro to become unresponsive when using certain plug-ins
- A fix for an issue that may cause audio to stutter on 2011 iMacs
- A fix for an issue in Contacts that may cause cards to print out of order
- A fix for an issue that may cause the desktop picture to change after logging out or restarting
- A fix for an issue in Messages that may cause messages to appear out of order after waking from sleep
- A fix for an issue that may cause the screen to display incorrectly after waking from sleep
- Improves compatibility with IMAP servers in the Notes app
- Allows the Slideshow screen saver to display photos located in a subfolder
- A fix for an issue in Contacts that may cause addresses to print in the wrong location
- Reliability improvements when using a Microsoft Exchange account in Mail
- Xsan reliability improvements
- A fix for an issue that could cause Active Directory accounts to be locked out after accessing the Security & Privacy pane in System Preferences
- A fix for an issue that could cause link aggregation to not complete after a restart
- A fix for an issue that could cause delays when logging into an Active Directory account on high latency networks
Safari 6.0.3 is included in the OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 Update and contains fixes that improve performance, stability, and security, including:
- Improves scrolling on facebook.com
- Improves scrolling while zoomed in on a webpage
- Improves performance on webpages with plug-in content
- A fix for an issue that could cause the inaccurate appearance of an alert that bookmarks can't be changed
- A fix for an issue that could cause duplicate bookmarks to appear on an iOS device after editing bookmarks with Safari in OS X
- A fix for an issue that permitted users to access unfiltered search results when searching from google.com when Parental Controls are enabled
- A fix for an issue that could prevent Safari from restoring the last position on a webpage a user navigated back to
For detailed information about the security content of this update, see Apple security updates.