Feeds

Snow Leopard forces silent Flash downgrade

Bundled insecurity bungle

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Apple has bundled a vulnerable version of Flash with Snow Leopard.

As a result, Mac users who upgrade their operating system will be left exposed to Adobe Flash-based attacks - even if they had previously kept up to date with patches. The latest version of Flash Player for Mac is version 10.0.32.18. Applying Snow Leopard loads up the older, vulnerable version 10.0.23.1 of the software, irrespective of whatever version a user was previously running.

Worse still, users receive no indication that the change has taken place, as illustrated in a video by net security firm Sophos below.

"Mac users are not informed that Snow Leopard has downgraded their version of Flash without permission, and that they are now exposed to a raft of potential attacks and exploits which have been targeted on Adobe's software in recent months," writes Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos and a Mac user.

"Software suppliers can only include the latest version of bundled applications at the time the software development cycle goes gold but the least that Apple should have done is checked the latest version of Flash installed before downgrading it. Doing this without notice is doubly bad," he added.

Cluley urges Mac fans who have upgraded to Snow Leopard to double-check what version of Adobe Flash they are running. Upgrades, where necessary, can be obtained from Adobe's website here. The issue is important, because hackers have increasingly taken to basing attacks around flaws in Adobe's software over recent months. Adobe has responded to the increased threat by moving to regular security updates.

Security watchers have previously criticised Apple for missing an opportunity to reduce the danger posed by buffer-overflow attacks, a common class of security flaw, as previously reported here. A general comparison of Snow Leopard and Windows 7 can be found here. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.