We know that Apple is launching new products on 7 September. It is generally accepted that leading this will be the iPhone 7. It is also highly likely that Apple will be launching new MacBook Pro models later this year, although it has been suggested that they may not be announced until October.
macOS Sierra is also due to be launched, and is currently progressing well in public beta release. Although Apple may announce its release date on 7 September, it seems unlikely that Sierra will ship in the next couple of weeks, and may not ship until after the new MacBook Pro.
Normally, shipping a new Mac requires at least a minor OS X update, to provide its new hardware with the driver support to function properly. It would appear that Apple does not want to release El Capitan 10.11.7, at least not so soon before Sierra, but may have found a way around this with El Capitan Security Update 2016-001, with its 414 MB of updated system files, claimed to fix a mere two kernel and one WebKit vulnerabilities.
Before I provide further details of that security update – to confirm that it is very little indeed about those three vulnerabilities – there is one fly in my ointment. The five Yosemite security updates this year have also been large, although the list of vulnerabilities which they have each fixed is relatively small. Apple does there have the excuse that it is also keeping up general bug-fixes, although it doesn’t seem to have documented any other than the security bugs.
All will no doubt be confirmed in a couple of days.
Detailed account of El Capitan Security Update 2016-001 fixes
The kernel is updated to version 15.6.0 dated 29 August 2016, closing two vulnerabilities and perhaps fixing other bugs.
Safari is updated to version 9.1.3 (11601.7.8) dated 31 August 2016, with /System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework being updated too, to fix one vulnerability and perhaps other bugs.
Almost everything Bluetooth is brought up to version 4.4.6 dated 31 August 2016. This includes:
- /Applications/Utilities/Bluetooth File Exchange
- /System/Library/CoreServices/Bluetooth Setup Assistant.app
- /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/Bluetooth.menu
- /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Bluetooth.prefPane, which is the Bluetooth pane in System Preferences
/Library/Application Support/Apple/BezelServices is overhauled, particularly for Apple mouse and keyboard support, and may include support for the new MacBook Pro hardware. This also appears to include Bluetooth support changes.
Other IO support is updated, including
/System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/RAID Utility.app is updated to version 4.0 dated 31 August 2016.
/System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/System Image Utility.app is updated to version 10.11.6 dated 31 August 2016.
WWAN support is updated in several places.
The Web Clip widget is updated, at /Library/Widgets/Web Clip.wdgt.
All 14 encodings in /System/Library/CoreServices/Encodings are updated.
IrDA support at /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/IrDA.menu is updated.
/System/Library/CoreServices/Problem Reporter.app is updated to version 10.11 dated 30 August 2016.
Kernel panic reporting is updated, including in /System/Library/CoreServices/ReportPanic.app which is updated to version 10.11 dated 30 August 2016.
Spotlight is updated in several components, including /System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle which is updated to version 10.7.0 dated 30 August 2016, and /System/Library/CoreServices/Spotlight.app itself, although that remains at version 1 (amazingly) dated 30 August 2016. /System/Library/Services/Spotlight.service has been updated, as has /System/Library/Spotlight/Application.mdimporter. The shell command /usr/bin/mdimport has also been updated.
/System/Library/CoreServices/Setup Assistant.app is updated to version 10.10 dated 30 August 2016, and seven of its plugins are also updated.
/System/Library/CoreServices/XProtect.bundle is updated, and now dates from 31 August 2016. This includes updates to its property lists stored at /System/Library/CoreServices/XProtect.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.meta.plist and /System/Library/CoreServices/XProtect.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist
The majority of kernel extensions in /System/Library/Extensions/ have been updated, although only a handful now show recent modification dates.
Most of the filesystem support in /System/Library/Filesystems has been updated.
A total of 26 developers’ frameworks in /System/Library/Frameworks/ have been updated, as have several of those in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks.
QuickTime’s /System/Library/QuickTime/QuickTimeComponents.component has been updated.
Eight of the configuration bundles in /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/ have been updated, three profiler reporters in /System/Library/SystemProfiler/, and six event plugins in /System/Library/UserEventPlugins/.
The significant shell commands to be updated include atos, emacs (22.1), filtercalltree, heap32, leaks32 and related, dtrace, ipconfig, and raidutil.
Ten dylibs in /usr/lib/ and /usr/lib/system/ have been updated, as have /usr/libexec/MiniTerm.app, /usr/libexec/SafariNotificationAgent, and /usr/libexec/bootpd. Developer Tools seurity, in /usr/sbin/DevToolsSecurity, has also been updated.
I hope that this list gives better account of the 414 MB security update than you will find elsewhere.