Feeds

Mac OS X haunted by ghost of Jailbreakme bug

Browse-and-get-pwned vuln gathers cobwebs

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Older versions of Mac OS X are susceptible to a variation of the critical Jailbreakme vulnerability, which left Macs and Apple iDevices wide open to malware attacks, a security firm has warned.

According to Core Security, Apple has known about the bug in OS 10.5, aka Leopard, for two and a half months, but still hasn't fixed it. Members of the Boston-based company said they alerted Apple on August 26, and agreed to keep it private until a patch was issued. After Apple failed twice to meet patch deadlines, Core issued an advisory on Monday warning of the threat in the older OS, which unlike the more recent Snow Leopard, runs on Macs with PowerPC processors.

“According to information provided to us by Apple, a patch for this fix has already been developed,” the advisory stated. “Apple provided us a release date for this patch in two opportunities but then failed to meet their our [sic] deadlines without giving us any notice or explanation.”

The security input validation flaw resides in Leopard's Compact Font Format engine, which is used to render fonts. It can be exploited using a variety of methods, including by tricking a user to open a booby-trapped PDF file with the Mac's Preview document reader. The memory corruption exploit is triggered by manipulating the offset value of the CharStrings INDEX structure, Core said.

The code-execution bug is a variation of one that hackers from Jailbreakme.com used to jailbreak the iPhone 4. It didn't take long for security experts to realize the hole could also be used for malicious purposes. Apple killed the bug in iOS on August 11 and in OS X on August 26.

The same day the Mac update was released, Core alerted Apple that a variation, which has been dubbed CVE 2010-1797, afflicted Leopard. According to a detailed timeline included with Core's advisory, members of Core and Apple have been communicating back and forth about a release ever since. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
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.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.