Feeds

What took you so long Apple? 26 remote exec bugs die in OS X Safari

Cupertino browser update catches up with Google Chrome WebCore patches

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Apple has fixed 27 vulnerabilities in its Safari web browser for OS X computers, 18 of which were uncovered by Google's Chrome Security Team. All but one of the flaws allow miscreants to execute arbitrary code on victims' computers.

The iPhone giant said its Safari 7.0.3 and 6.1.3 update will close the holes, which were found in its WebKit-derived browser engine. Apple has released the update for Safari on Macs running OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks.

Users are advised to fire up Apple's Software Update tool as soon as possible. Last month's iOS 7.1 update for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches fixed several of the vulnerabilities that were also in mobile Safari. As for Safari on Windows, Apple dropped support for that long ago.

All but one of the vulnerabilities killed today involve memory corruption bugs which, if exploited by a specially crafted website, could allow an attacker to crash the software, or execute arbitrary code on the victim's machine – which is a great starting point for injecting malware onto the computer.

The remaining bug allows a hacker running code in the browser's secure sandbox to bypass restrictions and read arbitrary files on the system. Its discovery was credited to researcher Ian Beer, who worked with the Google Project Zero campaign.

If you're wondering why Google takes such an interest in Apple's software, the Blink engine used by Google Chrome is a fork of the WebCore component of the open-source Webkit, and Safari also uses WebKit. Even though Blink has veered off on its own development path, bugs found in Blink's WebCore may also exist in Safari's WebCore.

For example, one Safari bug patched today, CVE-2013-2871 is a WebCore use-after-free() blunder previously discovered in Chrome pre-28.0.1500.71. Another, CVE-2013-2926, is a use-after-free() vuln that was found in Chrome pre-30.0.1599.101.

And so on and so forth. Readers will note a lot of the holes date back to 2013 when Google fixed them in Chrome, revealing the delay in Safari picking up Chromium's updates.

Funnily enough, though, one bug in Safari, now patched, was exploited by Google just last month to run an arbitrary app as root at the Pwn2Own hacking contest at CanSecWest 2014: Google revealed the flaw to bag $32,000 for charity. The ID for that flaw, CVE-2014-1300, was reserved on January 8, 2014, although a Google engineer said the web king shared details of the bug with Apple before the event.

The other holes closed today were found by VUPEN and others working with HP's Zero Day Initiative, and Apple staffers and independent researchers. ®

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
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
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
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
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.