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Apple fixes critical Mac security bug with first automatic update

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Apple has fixed a security vulnerability in its Mac operating system that would have allowed hackers to gain control of a user’s computer remotely. KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Image

TORONTO – Apple has fixed a security vulnerability in its Mac operating system that would have allowed hackers to gain control of a user’s computer remotely. But, for the first time, the update is being installed on users’ devices automatically.

The update fixes a critical flaw affecting Unix-based systems, including Mac OS X. The flaw affected the network time protocol (NTP), which synchronizes the computer’s clock system.

The flaw would have allowed an attack to execute malicious code and take control of the device, according to a security warning issued by The U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

According to Apple, the update is “seamless” and doesn’t require the computer to restart.

In fact, users may not even notice an update was installed unless they spot the notification that reads “a security update was installed.”

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Users with Macs running Mountain Lion v10.8.5, Mavericks v10.9.5, and Yosemite v10.10.1 can expect to see the update.