Feeds

Apple's FaceTime for Mac debuts with security holes

Beta puts iTunes accounts at risk

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.