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Apple promises Bash bug fix while claiming 'vast majority' of Mac users are unaffected

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Cupertino says OS X is "safe by default" from the Shellshock exploit

Apple has responded to the growing fear over the Bash bug, also known as Shellshock. The company acknowledges that OS X is vulnerable to the bug, which also affects other Linux- and Unix-based operating systems, but claims that anyone using default Mac settings should be safe.

"The vast majority of OS X users are not at risk to recently reported Bash vulnerabilities," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to iMore. "Bash, a Unix command shell and language included in OS X, has a weakness that could allow unauthorized users to remotely gain control of vulnerable systems. With OS X, systems are safe by default and not exposed to remote exploits of bash unless users configure advanced Unix services. We are working to quickly provide a software update for our advanced Unix users."

Notably, Apple does not say which "advanced Unix services" could leave Mac users open to attack. There are also questions over how effective Bash bug patches can be, with some researchers suggesting that it's only possible to provide a short-term fix until a more permanent solution is found. Still, Apple's statement can be read as recognition of the bug's potential severity, and reassurance that the company will do what it can to resolve the issue.