Feeds

QuickTime streaming media exploit targets unpatched bug

Don't RSVP to dodgy RTSP invites

Website security in corporate America

Hackers have created a proof-of-concept exploit for an Apple QuickTime player streaming media vulnerability.

Release of the exploit on Sunday follows hot on the heels of the public disclosure of the as-yet-unpatched buffer overflow bug, which involves the QuickTime RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) Response Header, on 23 November by Polish security researcher Krystian Kloskowski.

Symantec reports that the exploit might be applied to attack users of the latest version of stand-alone QuickTime players (version 7.3), tricked into opening malicious content on hacker-controlled websites. The same attack only crashes the browser of users of QuickTime browser plugins. Email-based attacks featuring attachments with hostile XML code that open a connection to malicious servers are also possible. This attack requires users to double-click on the malicious QuickTime multimedia attachment to run.

Both attacks rely on initiating a RTSP connection on port 554 leading to the transmission of hostile code. Symantec reports that both IE 6 and 7 (as well as Safari 3 block the attack. However, relying on this as a defence may be unwise. "Attackers may attempt to refine the exploit in the coming days in order to overcome this initial hiccup and work to create a reliable exploit that works on Internet Explorer," Symantec notes.

For the meantime, Firefox users are more exposed to the problem, especially if they've selected QuickTime as the default player for multimedia formats.

Pending a patch from Microsoft, users are advised to restrict outbound connections on port TCP 554 using their firewalls, advice that's probably easier to apply in corporate environments. Home users are warned to avoid any temptation to follow links to untrusted websites.

Symantec's write-up of the flaw, featuring screenshots showing the exploit code at work, can be found here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.