Feeds

Apple issues nine bug fixes...

As Symantec talks up Mac OS X security threat

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Apple this week posted security updates to fix nine security vulnerabilities in its Mac OS X operating system. Both client and server versions of the latest version of its software - Mac OS X v10.3.8 - need patching.

First up there's two security bugs in the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) that could create a means for attackers to either launch a denial of service attack or discover the contents of a drop box. In addition, a buffer overflow problem in Core Foundation, which creates a means for crackers to inject hostile code into vulnerable systems, has been discovered and patched.

Apple has also updated its Safari browser software to guard against the obfuscation of domain names in the International Domain Names (IDN) format that creates a possible means to engineer more convincing phishing attacks. Opera (here) and Mozilla (here) have both updated their browser software to respond to the same issue over recent weeks.

Other software fixes include: an update to the Cyrus IMAP client in Mac OS X server software; an upgrade for Cyrus SASL to address denial of service risks; and a fix for a serious security bug in folder permissions, which creates a mechanism for all manner of mischief including privilege escalation attacks. A patch for Apple's Mailman mailing list package to guard against directory transversal attacks is also on the list. Finally there's a patch for Mac OS X client and server software to address a Bluetooth setup security glitch.

Apple has posted a minimalist explanation of the bugs here. The patches can be downloaded from here but for most users these will have already been automatically applied after they were issued on Monday, 21 March.

Windows-style security purgatory looms for Mac OS X (allegedly)

Over the past year, Symantec has documented 37 high-severity vulnerabilities in Mac OS X. It said the appearance of a rootkit109 called Opener in October 2004 illustrates that the platform is becoming of more interest to attackers. "Contrary to popular belief, the Macintosh operating system has not always been a safe haven from malicious code," Symantec said in a report published Monday.

Symantec - which has a clear interest in encouraging Apple users to buy its security packages - reckons that the Mac OS X, and growing popularity of Apple machines, has made the OS a more tempting target for attacks. This point remains unproven and Mac fans can always point to the scarcity of viruses - or spyware for that matter - on the platform compared to Windows as evidence that they are safer from attack. ®

Related stories

Apple ships Mac OS X update
Security bugs take a bite out of Apple
Windows-style security hell stalks Mac OS X? Yeah, you wish
Apple plugs PyMusique iTunes 'hole'
iTunes store 'hole' open again

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.