Feeds

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

Unix flaw fixed in OpenBSD, not OS X

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
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.