Java malware goes live, begins affecting, Mac OS X, Windows, Linux systems

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 10:47
Category: News, security, Software

On the plus side, this keeps a security department employed.

Per F-Secure, a new form of browser-based cross-platform malware can give hackers remote access to computers running Apple’s OS X, Microsoft’s Windows, and even Linux.

The multi-platform backdoor malware was disclosed this week by security firm F-Secure. It was originally discovered on a Colombian Transport website, and relies on social engineering to trick users into running a Java Archive file, meaning it is not likely to be a major threat.

However, its cross-platform design is unique. If users grant permission to the Java Archive, the malware will secretly determine whether the user is running a Mac, a Windows PC, or a Linux machine. When running on a Mac, the malware will remotely connect to an IP address through port 8080 to obtain additional code to execute.

Anti-virus maker Sophos said on Wednesday that the new malware has the potential to affect a higher number of people because of its multi-platform strategy. Typically, malware and viruses target Windows PCs, as they represent the overwhelming majority of computers.

“Once it has found out which operating system you are running, the Java class file will download the appropriate flavor of malware, with the intention of opening a backdoor that will give hackers remote access to your computer,” explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant with Sophos.

On a Mac, the new malware is defined as “Backdoor:OSX/GetShell.A. According to F-Secure, it is a PowerPC binary, which means users running a modern, Intel-based Mac must also have Rosetta installed.

While rare, cross-platform malware attacks are not unheard of. In 2010, a Trojan known as “trojan.osx.boonana.a” was a Java-based exploit that affected both Macs running OS X, as well as Windows PCs.

As Apple’s Mac platform has grown in popularity and outpaced the PC market as a whole, the OS X platform has become a bigger target for hackers. Last month, Apple opted to tone down promotional language on its website that once claimed the Mac “doesn’t get PC viruses.” Apple’s website now says that OS X is “built to be safe.”

That change was made just a few months after more than 600,000 Macs were estimated to have been infected by a trojan horse named “Flashback.” More than half of the Macs believed to be infected by the botnet were found in the U.S. alone before Apple aggressively released a series of software updates to quash the malware.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.2.3

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 06:56
Category: News, Software

On Tuesday, Microsoft released its Microsoft Office 2011 14.2.3 update. The update, a 110 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– This update fixes an issue that causes Outlook not to display details for certain contacts when Lync or Communicator is running.

– This update fixes a problem that occurs when users reply to or forward Exchange email messages that were downloaded from Exchange 2007 servers. When this problem occurs, the Date field is missing from the body of the message.

– To correct email messages that have already been cached, right-click the folder that contains the email messages, select Folder Properties, and then then select Empty under Empty Cache. Or, you can delete the Exchange account and then add it again to resynchronize the account.

– This update fixes an issue where users may have duplication of mail when they use Gmail and connect with Outlook by using IMAP. This update fixes an issue where some users who have IMAP accounts intermittently receive a “Too many simultaneous connections” error. A setting is now available to control the polling interval that Outlook uses with IMAP servers.

– To adjust this setting, select Tools, select Accounts, and then select Advanced for the IMAP account. The setting defaults to synchronize all lMAP folders every two minutes.

– This update fixes a connectivity issue that occurs when Outlook connects through a proxy server that uses NTLM based authentication. Improvements to Word for Mac 2011
This update improves Full Screen View integration with Word.

Microsoft Office 2011 14.2.3 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run and for the Service Pack 1 updater to have been previously installed.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple release OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) gold master

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Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012, 07:25
Category: News, Software

Your official Mountain Lion release day is almost here.

And to celebrate, you should buy an actual mountain lion as a pet.

Nothing could go wrong from this decision.

Late Monday, Apple released the gold master version of its OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) operating system. The build, a 4.3 gigabyte download, requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 and an Apple developer account (US$99 per year) to run.

The final version of OS X 10.8 will be available for direct download and installation via the App Store.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Onyx updated to 2.4.7

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Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012, 06:32
Category: News, Software

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Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.4.7. The new version, a 20.5 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:

– Reset the volume positions on the Desktop.

– Deleting the Internet Cache improved.

– Deleting the logs improved.

– Parameters > Spotlight pane improved.

– New version integrates 3.7.13 of sqlite3.

Onyx 2.4.7 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases Brother Printer drivers 2.9 update

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2012, 09:20
Category: News, Software

Your head won’t explode from excitement, but it’s still useful.

On Friday, Apple released updated Brother printer drivers for the Mac OS X 10.6 and Mac OS X 10.7 operating systems. Brother Printer Driver 2.9, a 149.2 megabyte download offering the most current drivers for Brother’s printers and multi-function devices.

The update can be located, snagged and installed via the built-in Mac OS X Software Update feature and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new drivers and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Elgato releases EyeTV 3.5.5 update

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2012, 06:11
Category: News, Software

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Early Friday, Elgato Systems released version 3.5.5 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The new version, a 138 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Improved progressive scan.

– Updated transponder and satellite information.

– Improved performance of EyeTV Sat Free.

EyeTV 3.5.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$39.95.

Cocktail updated to 6.0

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Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 06:08
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.0 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Added OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) compatibility.

Cocktail 6.0 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

Skype updated to 5.8.0.945

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Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 06:06
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, version 5.8.0.945 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Bug fixes and stability improvements.

Skype 5.8.0.945 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 20.0.1132.47

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Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2012, 07:34
Category: News, Software

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 20.0.1132.47 for the Mac. The new version, a 40.7 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

– Disables some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Air notebooks), in order to prevent a resource leak which is causing a kernel panic on that hardware. This is a temporary change while we work on fixing the root cause of the issue.

Google Chrome 20.0.1132.47 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

VLC updated to 2.0.2

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Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2012, 07:34
Category: News, Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to a release candidate version of 2.0.2. The new version, a 25.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Video Output:
– XP machine will now use DirectX mode by default, like in previous versions. There were too many errors with broken drivers.

– More accurate colourspaces conversions for YUV->RGB in OpenGL

– Add menu support for libvlc / VLCKit applications on Mac OS X

– Various fixes on Mac OS X, notably for crop, zoom, osd and menu support

– Misc fixes in OpenGL module, on all platforms

– Fix video output on PowerPC-based Macs equipped with an ATI Radeon 7500, an ATI Radeon 9200 or a NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra.

– Fix video output of 10bit encoded contents on Intel-based Macs equipped with an Intel GMA 950 chipset running OS X 10.6 or later.

– Add support for the HiDPI mode used on recent Apple products with so-called Retina Displays.

Access:
– Rework Digital TV module for Windows. DVB-T and DVB-C should work again

– Fixes for RAR compressed files

– Fix DirectShow crashes on exit

– Improve PulseAudio input latency

– Fixes for HTTP access through a proxy

– v4l2 webcam outputting H264 can now be used directly (use –v4l2-chroma=h264)

– Fix subtitles auto-detection in subfolders and detection behaviour

– IE http proxy is not used anymore by VLC on Win32

– Accept more extensions for DVD images

– Fix crash in VC1 packetizer

– Improvements in Blu-Ray playback

– Improvements and fixes in HLS support

Codec:
– Fix crashes in AAC decoder on channels changes, notably in ISDB streams

– Fix compilation with multiple FFmpeg and libav versions

– Fix G726 support

– Fix MP3 free format support

Demuxers:
– Fixes for MKV segments, seeking and MKV title display

– Fix for some mp4, voc, midi and au crashes

– Fix for Real .ram, .f4v, .avi and .ra files support

– Fix for DVB channels file support

– Fixes for alac, vorbis, DTS, VC-1 and Dirac in mp4

Encoders:
– Fix for MPEG Audio encoding, use layer2 when using fourcc “mp2 ” and “mp2a”

– Fix for JPEG generation, when doing snapshots

– Audio filters and output:

– Limitation of spatializer volume output

– Fix DirectSound device selection

– Correct PulseAudio volume control

– Do not apply volume in file output

– Fix sampling rate in JACK output

– Fixes in ALSA output for latency and for broken drivers

Mac OS X:
– Enable drag and drop of playlist items between the temporary playlist and the persistent media library

– Enable import of playlist items taken from the service discovery modules to the media library or the temporary playlist

– Media key support for keyboards by other manufacturers than Apple This fix was facilitated through a hardware donation by ZF Friedrichshafen AG manufacturing keyboards under the brand “Cherry”.

– Add support for the Apple Remote to set the Mac to sleep using a longer press on the Play/Pause button

– Remove libfontconfig’s font cache by an Apple Type Services lookup. This removes the “Updating Cache” dialog, before finding all fonts.

– Re-add an option to hide the window decoration during video playback

– Improve compatibility with other 3rd party apps using SPMediaKeyTap

– Many Fullscreen fixes

– Keep Aspect Ratio when resizing is back

– Add controls to manipulate the Subtitles Duration to the Track Synchronization panel

– Hidden items in the sidebar are being retained for the next launch now

– Fix crash when trying to open an Audio CD by drag & drop

– Improve reliability when opening DVDs or BDs by drag & drop

– Fix crashes on exit

– Fix crash when mounting a device with multiple logical volumes while VLC is running

– Chosen audio output device is retained throughout multiple sessions

– Since running the Mac OS X interface as an Extra Interface or Control Interface can lead to undefined results, eventual settings will be automatically reset on the first launch.- This fixes issues with unresponsive playback controls and crashes on quit.

– Update Growl plugin for use with Growl 1.3

– Miscellaneous minor interface improvements

Lua Scripts:
– Fixes for stdin/stdout and for different locale issues

– Fixes for icecast SD

Qt:
– Fix preferences for audio devices on Windows

– Fix playlist search and selector behaviour

– Fix multiple issues in the Open Disc dialog

– Miscellaneous fixes in preferences, buttons, EPG, playlist and customize dialog

– Fix tags and file names display

– Fix various crashes, display issues and usability issues

Skins2:
– Fix mousewheel on Windows

– Fix for key events and focus loss

Web interface:
– Fix display of some buttons

– Fix listing of files in the Open interface

– Fixes for widgets behaviour and vlm dialog

Security:
– Fix Ogg Heap buffer overflow

– Update taglib (CVE-2012-2396)

– Update libavcodec and other codecs libraries

Translation:
– Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Walloon, Slovak, Polish, Khmer, Japanese, Italian, French, Czech, Belarusian, Breton, Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Irish, Galician, Hungarian, Japanese, Dutch, Telugu, Ukranian, Thai translations update
New Scottish Gaelic translation

VLC 2.0.2 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.