Feeds

QuickTime, not Safari, to blame for MacBook vuln

pwn-2-own update

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Updated The zero-day vulnerability that allowed a hacker to commandeer a brand new MacBook Pro late last week resides in a flaw in Apple's QuickTime media player, the exploit's author says. The revelation corrects descriptions given last Friday that the exploit targeted Safari.

Dino Dai Zovi set the record straight in a blog posting yesterday. It adds that Mac users browsing with Firefox are also vulnerable if QuickTime is installed and that QuickTime may put Java-enabled browsers on Windows machines at risk as well. Several hours after this story was first published, a new entry appeared that said unnamed sources at 3com have determined the QuickTime flaw is also exploitable on Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7.

Secunia has rated the QuickTime flaw highly critical, its second highest rating. "This can be exploited to execute arbitrary code when a user visits a malicious web site," the site warned. It recommends users disable Java as a work around until Apple releases a patch.

On Friday, Shane Macaulay, a friend of Dai Zovi's who participated in a "pwn-2-own" contest at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, described the flaw as residing in Safari. Dai Zovi, who wrote the exploit but didn't actually attend the conference, said on Tuesday that the vulnerability in fact lies in the way QuickTime handles Java. The exploit required a machine visit a booby-trapped website in order to work. Dai Zovi spent about nine hours writing the exploit, which allows a hacker to remotely gain full user rights to the targeted machine.

Under the contest rules, a successful exploit entitled the author to go home with the hacked machine. It also nets him a $10,000 bounty from security provider Tipping Point pending confirmation of the finding.

Dai Zovi on Tuesday declined to discuss the QuickTime in detail other than to say it allows a client-side Java error to execute arbitrary code when a Java-enabled browser visits a malicious website.

Dai Zovi's handiwork is only the latest discovery of a QuickTime vulnerability. Last month, Apple issued an update that plugged eight holes in the popular media playback software. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.