Feeds

Apple's FaceTime for Mac debuts with security holes

Beta puts iTunes accounts at risk

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

This article is being updated to note that, according to Apple Insider, this bug is no longer reproducible. Apple has provided no comment, and no update for the beta was released to effect the change.

Apple's recently released FaceTime for Mac beta allows users to make important iTunes account changes without first entering their password, a shortcoming that could create serious security issues.

The shortcoming came to light in a Macworld Germany post that found that once the beta was installed, the associated iTunes password could be changed without first reentering the old password. Other important settings, including the account's security question, could similarly be modified.

That means anyone with physical access to a Mac with the beta installed can take control of the user's iTunes account. Most programs — Apple's iTunes included — require users to reenter their password to prevent such tampering.

A separate report from Macnn.com said that if a computer is already logged into FaceTime, account settings will display all of a user's associated data, including birth date, security question, and matching answer. “This makes it trivial to hijack an account if an attacker already has access to a person's Mac,” the report stated.

The threats exist even when users click the “sign out” button that logs them out of iTunes. That's because the old password is cached, making it easy for an attacker to log back in using the “Sign in” button.

FaceTime has been available for users of the iPhone 4 and fourth generation iPod touch, but only made its debut on the Mac on Wednesday, with a beta that was released as part of Apple's Back to the Mac software refresh. It allows users to chat by video with others who have the software installed. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?