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Apple says Shellshock bug not a risk for most Mac users

New warnings are emerging of a security flaw

New warnings are emerging of a security flaw known as Shellshock, which cyber experts say may pose a serious threat to computers and other devices using Unix-based operating systems. Apple says most Mac computers are not at risk. This laptop was in use on Feb. 22, 2010. Credit: AP / Paul Sakuma

Apple Inc. said the majority of Mac computer users are not at risk from the recently identified Shellshock computer bug, which security experts have warned affect operating systems, including Mac's OS X.

"The vast majority of OS X users are not at risk," Apple spokesman Bill Evans said late Thursday evening.

Shellshock is a vulnerability in Bash, a piece of software packaged with Mac OS X, which is based on the Unix operating system. The bug does not appear to affect Apple's iOS, which is used on the iPhone and iPad, or machines running MicrosoftCorp's Windows software.

Security experts disclosed the Shellshock vulnerability in Bash on Wednesday, saying that it could enable attackers to gain remote control of vulnerable systems.

Apple ships its computers so they are "safe by default," Evans said, which means that they are not vulnerable to remote attacks unless users configure them for advanced Unix services.

"We are working to quickly provide a software update for our advanced UNIX users,” he said.

The computer industry is rushing to determine which systems can be remotely compromised by hackers, but there are currently no estimates on the number of vulnerable systems.

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