Feeds

Tardy Apple finally releases DNS patch

Cache from chaos

Website security in corporate America

Apple has finally gotten around to defending against a high-profile Domain Name System flaw, days after security researchers called it out for dragging its heels on releasing a patch.

The Mac OS X security update issued by Apple on Thursday defends against the infamous DNS poisoning issue, discovered by security researcher Dan Kaminsky, by implementing source port randomisation. The update addresses the Apple end of a cross vendor patching effort by updating the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) DNS software bundled with Apple's operating system.

Patching efforts to thwart cache poisoning exploits, which arise from security shortcomings in the DNS protocol itself rather than coding errors by individual vendors, began on 8 July. The Internet Systems Consortium, which maintains BIND, was among the vendors that worked together with Kaminsky in secret beforehand and made patches available from day one. Apple's update some three weeks later comes only after the flaw has become the target of active exploitation by hackers.

Successful exploitation of the flaw allows miscreants to redirect surfers to potentially malicious websites in a way that leaves users unaware anything has gone awry. Security watchers hammered Apple for failing to do its bit earlier this week, a factor that may well have accelerated the availability of Apple's update.

Apple's Security Update 08-005 also addresses a range of lower profile security flaws, including flaws in CardonCore and CoreGraphics that each pose a code injection risk, as explained in an overview by security notification firm Secunia here. The software also includes an upgrade to PHP 5.2.6, available as a stand-alone update since 1 May, and fixes for flaws in Apple's implementation of OpenSSL.

Various flavours of the update are available for systems running Mac OS X Server versions 10.4 and 10.5 as well as Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Mac OS X 10.5.4. Apple's summary of the update can be found here.

Apple's developers have had a lot on their plate of late - not least fine-tuning version 2 of the iPhone software and dealing with a series of problems involving the .Mac-to-MobileMe migration - a factor that may account for its delay in updating its software to deal with the DNS patch, Apple watchers note. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.