Feeds

Mac OS X haunted by ghost of Jailbreakme bug

Browse-and-get-pwned vuln gathers cobwebs

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?