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AirPort Extreme 802.11n firmware update

updated 06:25 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2007

AirPort Extreme update

Apple today released an update to its AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n networking capability on the heels of networking issues reported by customers. The update includes general fixes, compatibility updates, and security improvements for the newest AirPort Extreme Base Station. Apple released another AirPort Base Station update in late March that offered general fixes and compatibility updates for its AirPort Utility, AirPort Admin Utility for Graphic and Snow Base Stations, AirPort Disk Utility, and AirPort Disk Agent. The latest revision -- Firmware 7.1 -- addresses security issues related to incoming IPv6 connections, as well as potentially viewable filenames on a password-protected AirPort Disk to users on the local network.

Security risk details

The default configuration of an AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n allows incoming IPv6 connections, which may expose network services on hosts connected through an AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n to remote attackers. The update addresses the issue by changing the default setting to limit inbound IPv6 traffic to the local network. The issue only affects AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n, and not other versions of the Base Station, according to Apple.

The AirPort Utility is used to configure the settings of the AirPort Extreme Base Station. After installing the update and restarting the system, users should use the AirPort Utility to review the configuration of the wireless network as follows:

1. Open AirPort Utility
2. Select the AirPort Extreme Base Station being configured
3. Click the "Advanced" icon
4. Click the "IPv6" tab

If "Block incoming IPv6 connections" is checked (selected), then
inbound IPv6 traffic is limited and no further action is needed.

If "Block incoming IPv6 connections" is not checked (deselected), and
unsolicited incoming IPv6 connections are not desired, then it should
be enabled as follows:

1. Check "Block incoming IPv6 connections"
2. Click the "Update" button at the bottom of the window to save the
changes

AirPort Disk is a feature of Apple's AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n that allows users to share files from a USB hard drive connected to a compatible base station. Sharing options, including password protection, are available via the AirPort Disk Utility. An issue in the AirPort Disk feature allows users on the local network to view filenames (but not their contents) on a password-protected disk without providing a password, according to Apple. The update addresses the issue by performing additional validation on AirPort Disk access requests. The issue only affects AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n, and not other versions of the Base Station.

Firmware version 7.1 is installed into the AirPort Extreme Base Station by running the AirPort Utility which is provided with the Base Station. Apple also recommends installing the AirPort Base Station Update 2007-001 prior to installing the current Firmware 7.1 update.




by MacNN Staff

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