Feeds

Mac OS X haunted by ghost of Jailbreakme bug

Browse-and-get-pwned vuln gathers cobwebs

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.