Apple on Monday patched a now infamous flaw in its QuickTime media player first discovered in a hacking contest at the CanSecWest conference last month.
To execute malicious code, an attacker must lure a user to a webpage containing a maliciously crafted Java applet. The update fixes the issue by performing additional bounds checking when creating QTPointerRef objects, according to Apple’s advisory.
Researcher Dino Dai Zovi was credited with discovering the flaw, which was purchased by TippingPoint for $10,000 as part of the contest.
ZDI disclosed that a lack of sanity checking on the parameters through the Java Virtual Machine was partially responsible for the flaw.
Researcher Thomas Ptacek said Tuesday on the Matasano Chargen blog that the vulnerability appears to be an integer overflow.
"In applet form, this reliably crashes my browsers. It is both deliberately and organically far from being useful to an attacker. Note that without comments, it’s five lines of code," he said. "Get this one patched quickly. From the (ZeroDay Initiative) advisory and the (QuickTime) Java documentation, it looks like it takes very little time to figure this one out."
Jeremiah Grossman, founder and CTO of WhiteHat Security, told SCMagazine.com today that end users and administrators should patch quickly.
"All of the QuickTime vulnerabilities are pretty bad, so it’s one of many and it’s something serious that should be patched quickly," he said. "For us, it was a high-profile issue, and certainly the bad guys saw it as that as well."
Joel Esler, SANS Internet Storm Center handler, credited Apple today for turning out a patch in less than two weeks.
"Twelve days to put out an update for Apple," he said on the organization’s diary. "Not too bad."
Also on Monday, Apple also fixed a flaw in AirPort for Mac OS X version 10.3.9 that caused AirPort to lose its connection after sleep mode, and a vulnerability in FTPServer for OS X Server version 10.4.9 that allows users with ftp access to navigate directories outside the normal scope.
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