Feeds

Apple sits on critical Mac bug for 7 months (and counting)

Unix flaw fixed in OpenBSD, not OS X

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Researchers have disclosed a critical vulnerability in the latest version of Mac OS X that they say Apple has sat on for almost seven months without fixing.

The buffer overflow flaw could be exploited by attackers to remotely execute malicious code, and virtually all Apple devices - including Mac computers and servers, iPhones, and even Apple TV - are susceptible, one of the researchers, Maksymilian Arciemowicz, told The Register. SecurityReason.com, the Poland-based security firm he works for, alerted Apple to the vulnerability in the middle of June and again last month, but the computer maker has yet to patch the bug.

By contrast, developers for OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, and a variety of Mozilla applications have fixed identical vulnerabilities, in some cases within hours of notification. The bug affects all applications and operating systems that implement gdtoa floating point numbers.

"It was not that difficult to patch it," Arciemowicz wrote in an email. "It seems to us that Apple comes from the assumption that when there is no PoC or exploit given that the problem doesn't exist."

The OS X bug resides in the libc/strtod(3) and libc/gdtoa function. Arciemowicz said the vulnerability could be remotely exploited using booby-trapped PHP code on a website, among other methods.

SecurityReason has posted proof-of-concept code here that shows how the flaw can be exploited to make a machine crash. With additional work - specifically, by manipulating esi and edi registers - it is possible to remotely execute code, Arciemowicz said.

Of the 16 applications or systems known to be affected by the bug, only four remain vulnerable. In addition to OS X, they include Mozilla Sunbird, K-Meleon, and the J programming language. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.