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Sunday, December 23, 2007, 08:55 pm PT (11:55 pm ET)

Army steps up Mac orders; security fix reissued; X-Factor lawsuit?

The US Army is shifting more of its IT infrastructure towards the Mac to thwart hacking attempts. Also, Apple has relaunched its latest security update to remedy a new flaw, and a talent show may file suit against Apple for an iTunes outage.

US Army expands Mac usage

While the American military often focuses on buying the lowest-cost systems with the most software, recent security threats have prompted a new turn towards the Mac in the Army, according to a new report by Forbes.

The military branch began shifting away from a nearly Windows-only environment as soon as late 2005, when General Steve Boutelle warned that a homogenous operating system environment would expose the Army to large-scale hacking attempts.

However, these efforts will ramp up in February 2008 when a new program from Thursby Software gives Macs access to the military's Common Access Cards system, opening up use of the systems to a wider swath of the Army's IT network. About 1,000 new Macs are installed every six months at current purchase rates.

About 20,000 of the government body's 700,000 systems are Macs, including a selection of Xserve clusters; despite being hard-hit by cracking attempts, many of these servers simply 'shrug off' these attempts as the code is designed to break Windows systems, according to Army enterprise IT head Lieutenant Colonel C.J. Wallington.

Apple issues Security Update 2007-009 1.1

Just days after releasing the initial 2007-009 Security Update, Apple has introduced version 1.1 of the fix.

Available for Leopard (35.6MB) as well as Tiger in PowerPC-only (15.9MB) and Universal Binary (27.4MB) formats, the new iteration primarily resolves an issue with Safari crashing on visiting websites with specific code.

The patch otherwise remains the same as before and primarily mends issues with Adobe web plugins and web scripting.

UK talent show considering lawsuit for iTunes outage?

A reported outage for Apple's iTunes Store in the UK may have led to missed sales and a potential lawsuit, according to a claim by Britain's daily paper The Sun.

Although the music service is said to have coped with extremely popular releases in the past, with X-Factor talent show winner Leona Lewis having sold 50,000 songs within an hour after it became available, a flood of traffic to iTunes after Scottish singer Leon Jackson won the latest competition allegedly crashed Apple's servers just after midnight, preventing anyone from downloading music until it was resolved 15 hours later.

X-Factor co-host Simon Cowell, who also oversees shows such as American Idol, is purportedly "hugely disappointed" that Apple may have deprived Jackson of vital early sales and may file a legal complaint against the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm for its inability to cope with demand.

An Apple spokesperson has declined comment, The Sun claims.