Apple’s First Automatic Security Update Protects Your Mac In the Background

Apple has pushed its first ever automatic security fix for OS X, with a new update signed to thwart a vulnerability associated with the use of the network time protocol that allows your Mac to automatically sync its clocks. The update had already installed for me when I woke up this morning, with a notification letting me know what was up, but required no intervention on my part and also ran without having to restart my Mac.

The decision to actually use the automatic updating system, which Apple actually debuted two years ago, came on the heels of this exploit being published by the Department of Homeland Security and the Carnegie Mellon association on Friday. Apple spokesperson Bill Evans told Reuters that it wanted to make sure customers were covered as quickly as possible due to how serious the bugs were in this instance, hence the use of the automatic updater.

Typically, Apple still seeks user approval for security updates, even though it created the automatic updating tool years ago. The tool is reserved for instances where failure to protect user computers poses a significant threat, and today’s deployment indicates that the threat is, at least in theory, considerable.

If you haven’t yet seen the update notification, open up the App Store on your Mac and navigate to the updates tab, and you should be able to apply it manually, too.