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Newsflash: OS X 10.9.2 "Mavericks" update released along with OS X 10.7 and 10.8 security patches. Wither 10.6?
MacAtoZ LLC
February 2014 MSS Newsflash 3

OS X 10.9.2 update released along with OS X 10.7 & 10.8 security patches

[Our apologies for the number of Newsflashes we've issued recently. We only communicate time-sensitive information in this fashion. We don't want to "over-communicate," but we also don't want to leave you vulnerable in a matter so important as computer security. We hope not to issue any more Newsflashes for a while!]

To find out which OS X version your Mac is running, go to the Apple Menu in the top left corner of the screen and choose "About This Mac."

OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" users:
If you've not already, you should update your Mac immediately.
Go to the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and choose Software Update. Follow the instructions to download OS X 10.9.2. This update includes a number of other features enhancements and bug fixes. The egregious SSL/TSL hole (the so-called "goto fail" bug) does not exist in any Mac operating system except OS X 10.9 and 10.9.1. It is patched by this 10.9.2 update.

OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" users:
Install the latest security patch at your earliest convenience. The "goto fail" bug did not impact 10.8, but this security update patches a number of less serious vulnerabilities. (Apple will not comment on exactly what they are.) We have not tested the 10.9.2 "Mavericks" update yet, but generally, we don't advise an upgrade to a new operating system until the ".3" release. Our general advice, therefore, is to remain on Mountain Lion for now. 

OS X 10.7 "Lion" users:
Install the latest security patch at your earliest convenience. The "goto fail" bug did not impact 10.7, but this security update patches a number of less serious vulnerabilities. (Apple will not comment on exactly what they are.) We have not tested the 10.9.2 "Mavericks" update yet, but generally, we don't advise an upgrade to a new operating system until the ".3" release. Our general advice, therefore, is to remain on Lion for now. If you have previously upgraded another Mac to Mountain Lion or have previously purchased but not installed OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion," we would recommend an upgrade to 10.8. Unfortunately, if you've not purchased or downloaded Mountain Lion previously, it will not be available to you in the Mac App Store. 

Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" users:
As Apple only maintains the current operating system and the last two (10.7 and 10.8), there is no security upgrade for Snow Leopard. You should plan to upgrade your operating system within the next few months, certainly by the end of the year.  

That said, a few words: If you are confronting an upgrade from 10.6 and don't want to change operating systems, I'm with you. I have made little secret of my love of 10.6 "Snow Leopard." Introduced in August 2009, Snow Leopard fixed a head-spinning number of problems from its predecessor, 10.5 "Leopard." By July 2011, the month of Snow Leopard's final major update (10.6.8), it had become a robust, secure, modern operating system that fully transitioned Apple's Mac hardware from the vestiges of its PowerPC chip past. It was a great operating system.

Nonetheless, if we want to safely remain participants in the global online community the time to move on has come. Snow Leopard has not become unusably overnight (indeed, in the short run I think an attack that targets Snow Leopard is unlikely), but 10.6 is slowly becoming obsolete and increasingly insecure, and we certainly don't want to wait for the day when a zero-day exploit renders your Mac unusable, your data compromised, or worse.*

In terms of how to move forward, Apple only offers their latest, free operating system, 10.9 Mavericks. At MacAtoZ we will be testing it in the next few weeks. Our hope is that we can recommend it. But, almost regardless, by the time 10.9.3 emerges in a few months, you should be prepared to make that upgrade. 

If you have questions or would like assistance with an operating system upgrade, please call us at 503-507-0410 or email us at support@macatoz.com. Thank you.

*You might wonder what could be worse. One example: In the Windows world, there are hackers who break into a PC, encrypted the data on the hard drive, then force the user to pay a random for the electronic key to unlock the data on the hacked PC. That ransom can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. 
 
Apple Consultants Network
I am Ty Davison, the only Apple-certified, Apple Consultants Network member in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.

My company, MacAtoZ LLC, provides technical support, upgrade, installation, networking, training and tutoring, web design and hosting, and remote support services for Apple products like Macintosh computers, iPhones, iPods, and iPads. 

I've been providing computer services for clients in the Salem area since 1999. I am certified by Apple and I carry $1 million in business liability insurance. I am a frequent and well-known presenter (and former Board Member) of the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG). You can count on me and my company.

At $120 an hour, MacAtoZ offers one of the lowest certified on-site rates in Oregon. Our innovative remote support program, the MacAtoZ Service Suite (MSS), also provides a wide-range of features at incredibly low-prices.

If you're looking to save money on Apple and Apple-related products, check out our MacAtoZ Online Store. (If you're looking for computer memory, we sell that directly.)

 
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