[VIM] Apple megapatch plugs 45 security holes (fwd)

security curmudgeon jericho at attrition.org
Wed Mar 14 08:14:55 UTC 2007


By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
March 13, 2007

Apple on Tuesday issued a security update for its Mac OS X to plug 45 
security holes, including several zero-day vulnerabilities.

The megapatch is the seventh Apple security patch release in three months. 
It deals with vulnerabilities in Apple's own software, as well as 
third-party components such as Adobe Systems' Flash Player, OpenSSH and 
MySQL. Sixteen of the vulnerabilities addressed by the update were 
previously released as part of two high-profile bug-hunting campaigns.

The vulnerabilities pose varying risks to Macs. Several of the flaws could 
be exploited to gain full control over a Mac running the vulnerable 
component, according to Apple's advisory. Other holes are limited and 
could only be exploited to crash a Mac or used by somebody who already has 
access to a machine to elevate privileges, for example.

One focus of the patch is to fix eight vulnerabilities in the way Mac OS X 
handles disk images, files that when opened appear as a drive within the 
Macintosh Finder. Mounting a malicious image may lead to an error and 
could provide a means for an attacker to breach a Mac, Apple said.

Tuesday's update deals with nine vulnerabilities released as part of the 
Month of Apple Bugs in January and seven bugs disclosed in the Month of 
Kernel Bugs in November. In earlier fix releases, Apple fixed several 
flaws identified during the projects.

While several of the vulnerabilities repaired by Apple's updates were 
previously known, it doesn't appear that any attacks that exploited the 
flaws actually occurred.

In addition to the Mac OS X patch, Apple issued a second update on Tuesday 
to fix a security bug in iPhoto that could expose Mac users to a serious 
attack. An attacker could craft a malicious "photocast" which, when 
opened, could compromise a Mac, Apple said in its alert. The Photocasts 
feature allows people to share pictures in iPhoto.

Tuesday's two releases bring Apple's total patch count for the year to 
seven. Microsoft, meanwhile, on Tuesday skipped its monthly patch day. 
However, it released a dozen security bulletins with fixes for 20 
vulnerabilities in February and four bulletins with fixes for 10 bugs in 

The Apple patch can be downloaded and installed via the Software Update 
feature in Mac OS X, or from Apple Downloads.

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