Apple Secures Mac OS X, Preps Panther Update

The Mac maker released security updates to Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3; meanwhile, sources said Version 10.3.3 of the OS will pack improvements to USB connectivity and printing as well as basic Mac OS X technologies such as Cocoa and Carbon.

Apple Computer Inc. this week released a security update to Mac OS X, beefing up a variety of system components for both client and server users. The release comes as the company primes Mac OS X 10.3.3, its third free update to the "Panther" OS, sources said.

Apple recommends that all Mac users download the security patch, which the Mac maker posted to its Web site on Monday. An update for the client version of Mac OS X 10.3, Panther, offers updates to IPSec, PPP, tcpdump and DiskArbitration; a variant for users of the older "Jaguar" release, Version 10.2, provides many of the same tweaks but also updates Safari, Apples Web browser.

Security updates for the server releases of 10.3 and 10.2 update the same components as their client counterparts but also fine-tune QuickTime Streaming Server, according to Apples Web site.

Apple is already looking ahead to the next minor update to Panther, which shipped Oct. 24 for $129 per user. Last week, the Cupertino, Calif., company provided developers with an advance seed of Version 10.3.3, which it designated build 7F32 of Mac OS X.

Mac OS X 10.3.3 will include updates to printing and USB, as well as changes to some of OS Xs base components and frameworks—Cocoa, Carbon, graphics and imaging, Core OS, and the High Level Toolbox—sources said. The update will also include a variety of bug fixes for the Unix-based OS. Apple reportedly told developers to focus their testing efforts on the updates audio, graphics, USB and FireWire functionality.

Apple rolled out its last Panther update, Version 10.3.2, in December. The service release enhanced cross-platform file sharing, PostScript printing, font management and a variety of other OS X features.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the 10.3.3 update.