Apple released Java for OS X 2012-003 Thursday afternoon, a software update that removes “the most common variants of the Flashback malware.” Thursday’s update was foreshadowed by an announcement on Apple’s support page Tuesday.
This marks the third update to OS X’s Java implementation in the last week as Apple attempted to control and eliminate the Flashback malware that has infected hundreds of thousands of Macs in the past two months.
In an effort to prevent future variants of the Flashback malware from spreading, Thursday’s update also disables the automatic execution of Java applets, a step that will stop malware from exploiting additional security vulnerabilities in Java. If a user manually reenables Java applets, the system will automatically disable them again if no applets have been run for “an extended period of time.”
The update is available now from Software Update and is highly recommended for all users of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.6 Snow Leopard.