Apple re-releases critical security patch

Apple has re-released a mammoth security patch after the original update broke 64-bit applications.

Version 1.1 of Security Update 2005-007 is now available from Apple's website or via the Mac OS X "Tiger" automatic update system.

The original Security Update 2005-007, released on Monday, fixed errors in more than 40 components, some of them with critical flaws. Among those elements affected were AppKit, BlueTooth, CoreFoundation, cups, Directory Services, HIToolBox, Kerberos, loginwindow, Mail, OpenSSL, QuartzComposerScreenSaver, Security Interface, Safari, X11 and zlib.

But the update also rendered 64-bit optimised applications unusable, causing thousands of companies to field calls from angry customers, and Apple was forced to withdraw the patch.

Software maker Wolfram Research contacted its customers via email to explain why their Mathematica 5.2 stopped working after users installed the Apple update. "Due to an error on the part of Apple, this update prevents any 64-bit-native application from running," said Wolfram in the note to customers. "In particular, this means that Mathematica 5.2 will not run on any G5 system if it has installed this Security Update."

The original update included only the 32-bit version of an important system component called LibSystem, omitting the 64-bit version, according to Apple.

The bug meant that other applications tweaked for 64-bit chips, such as the 64-bit GMP library or the GCC 4.0.0 compiler, also didn't work, according to experts. Tiger, technically known as Mac OS X 10.4, is the first version of OS X to support 64-bit applications. 64-bit addressing allows the use of more memory space and is critical to some database and scientific software.

Industry analysts have said that Apple's system updates are increasingly stable, with such glitches more of an exception than a rule. Still, problematic patches can put system administrators between a rock and a hard place.

Hackers have become quicker at exploiting security holes in the window between the release of a patch and the widespread application of the patch. A Plug n Play bug patched last week by Microsoft, for instance, turned into a major worm attack within a week.

Yet flawed patches continue to turn up regularly. In March, Microsoft acknowledged that a January patch for Windows 98 and Windows ME -- the KB891711 update included with security bulletin MS05-002 -- caused performance problems. Microsoft's MS05-001 bulletin, also in January, failed to completely fix all the security problems addressed, according to security researchers.

In April, Apple had to patch an earlier update that had broken some websites and caused the Safari browser to crash. In May of last year, Apple came under fire for a patch didn't completely fix a remotely exploitable security flaw.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matthew Broersma
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?