Feeds

Apple issues nine bug fixes...

As Symantec talks up Mac OS X security threat

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.