While Macintosh computers are generally regarded for their low risk of security threats, Apple pushed its first automated security patch to machines last Tuesday, December 23rd. This update came in response to a critical vulnerability posed by the network time protocol (NTP), a common software component used to synchronize clocks across the internet. While hackers have exploited the NTP in the past, this particular bug was identified in a Department of Homeland Security bulletin on Friday, December 19th.
It’s important to note that the bug, which could allow hackers to gain remote control of machines, affects a number of devices including PCs. The Verge notes that, while Microsoft has been automatically updating Windows security vulnerabilities for years, Apple had previously preferred to prompt users to authenticate updates.
Mac users should be notified of the update and after installing, a restart is not required. At this time, no cases are known of Mac computers that have been exploited through this bug.