Feeds

Apple kills browse-and-get-hacked bugs in iOS

iPhones, iPads, iPod touches safe again

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Updated Apple has patched a critical iOS  vulnerability that allows attackers to install malicious apps on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches by doing nothing more than luring victims to a booby-trapped website or sending them a tainted email.

The update plugs a hole in Apple-designed document-viewing software that allows attackers to inject code of their choosing into PDF files. By default, all three devices open the documents automatically when they are encountered in emails or on websites, leading to a classic browse-and-get-hacked exploit. The Foxit document reader was vulnerable to the same flaw, until it was patched last week. Adobe has said its Reader application is unaffected.

A second vulnerability in iOS allows attackers to break out of the iOS security sandbox and access to the OS's root account, which has unfettered access to the device.

The vulnerabilities have been exploited for weeks on Jailbreakme.com, a website that allows people to jailbreak their devices by flicking a slider on the home page. There has been nothing stopping people from carrying out more malicious attacks, but so far there are no known reports of that happening.

In addition to patching the PDF flaw in iOS, Apple has also bolstered its sandbox by nixing an integer overflow in the handling of what's known as IOSurface properties. The whole point of the design is to mitigate the severity of buffer overflows and other garden-variety software bugs by containing application processes inside protected walls that can't access sensitive parts of the OS.

There's no word of an accompanying update for Mac OS X. It remains unclear if that OS is unaffected or Apple hasn't gotten around to issuing a fix yet.

Screen capture of iOS downloads

This might take a while

Apple's advisory suggests that users install the patch immediately, but it may make sense to wait until there's an ample amount of bandwidth available. The iPad update is a whopping 456.9MB in size and the iPhone download is 378MB. ®

This article was updated to correct erroneous information about the status of the sandbox patch.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
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.
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.