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Apple releases first automated security update for Macs

Apple has pushed out its first automated security update to Macintosh computers without requiring a Mac user's approval.

"The update is seamless. It doesn't even require a restart," company spokesman Bill Evans told Reuters.

Apple's technology to send out automatic security updates, which was developed two years ago but was never previously used, is to fix critical security vulnerabilities in a component of its OS X operating system known as NTP , he added. NTP is used for synchronizing clocks on computer systems.

The vulnerabilities, which were made public in a bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security, were identified by Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute.

Ken Westin, security analyst at Tripwire told CNET: "Apple's proactive steps to automatically remediate this particular vulnerability shows the need to quickly patch remotely exploitable vulnerabilities. However, the use of Apple's automatic deployment tool is not without risks, as even the simplest update can cause problems for some systems. In this case the update may have been so minor the risk of affecting other applications and processes was minimal."