Exploit still requires user permission to install, downplayed by experts
A new exploit has been developed that could threaten Mac security by leveraging vulnerabilities in firmware rather than software, making the worm nearly impossible to remove. While sounding more ominous than any threat since the original firmware-based Thunderstrike (which was limited to a proof-of-concept with no reported attacks), leading security experts say this new threat is also very low-risk.
Latest exploits flaw marketed by Hacking Team to governments, others
Adobe has updated Flash to version 126.96.36.199 for Windows and Mac in an effort to close yet another batch of security flaws. While no active use of the exploits had been discovered, the company had been notified earlier this week that some of the exploits had been discovered to be known by Hacking Team, a group of commercial security attackers that has sold such secrets and flaws to government agencies around the world.
Range of discovered vulnerabilities made it possible to intercept data between apps
Apple announced on Friday that it had implemented a server-side partial security update earlier this week to help protect Mac and iOS users against a "series of high-impact security weaknesses" discovered by researchers now collectively known as XARA vulnerabilities, that could potentially be used to obtain data being passed between sandboxed applications, such as passwords. No known cases of the exploits have been seen "in the wild," and Apple says it is working with researchers on a longer-term fix.
Google reveals Windows flaw despite Microsoft request to wait
Microsoft is asking for the online security community to better coordinate on the disclosure of vulnerabilities in code, after a publication of a flaw in Windows 8.1 by Google. The search company released details about the vulnerability in the operating system yesterday as part of Project Zero, two days before Microsoft was to offer up a fix in its well-known Patch Tuesday schedule.
New $15,000 award for successful submissions, up from $5,000.
Google is increasing the rewards in its bug bounties program, as it tries to make its software more secure. The search company is updating its reward pricing range to between $500 and $15,000 per bug, up from the previous maximum of $5,000 for a high-quality report, with an increased focus on discovering potential vulnerabilities within the Chrome browser.
Bug bounty offers up to $5,000 for vulnerabilities in server software
Microsoft is teaming up with Facebook to offer more bounties for bugs and flaws in software used to by a vast majority of websites. The Internet bug bounty, HackerOne, sees the two companies paying cash prizes of between $300 and $5,000 in exchange for details for vulnerabilities in server-based software and frameworks such as PHP, Ruby, Rails, OpenSSL, and Apache httpd.
Apple-provided update fixes issues, uninstalls the old Apple Java applet plug-in
For the fifth time this year, Apple has had to issue an update to Java for all three supported versions of OS X: Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7) and Mountain Lion (10.8). As has become the norm, the update was issued due to the discovery of "multiple vulnerabilities" in Java 1.6.0_51. The cross-platform development technology has been updated to version 1.6.0_65, and is referred to in Software Update as "Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 17" for Snow Leopard and "Java for OS X 2013-005" for newer systems.
Only security issues addressed, affects all Mac Office 2011 editions
On Tuesday, Microsoft issued a new security patch for all versions of its Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 edition, including academic, Standard and Home & Business editions and all the main applications contained therein. The update "fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code." The fix is intended for Intel Macs running OS X 10.5.8 or later.
Mac OS vulnerabilities
IBM's security research and development group, X-Force, has released an annual report that suggests Mac is the most vulnerable operating system. The percentage of patched vulnerabilities compared to the total number of disclosed vulnerabilities was used for the rankings, with Mac OS X and OS X Server each leaving 14.3 percent of the problems unresolved. IBM gave the highest score to its own AIX platform, claiming to have fixed over 96 percent of the vulnerabilities, while Microsoft failed to patch between 5.5 percent and 4.1 percent of the reported issues for its Windows operating systems.
Security Update 2008-006
Apple on Monday unveiled Security Update 2008-006, detailing the various security fixes patched between it and the Mac OS X 10.5.5 update. The updates both resolve a vast number of issues, mostly relating to the remote execution of arbitrary code, many issues resolved were related to performance and password security. Several vulnerabilities could have allowed malicious users to gain access to a list of authenticated users, or to change the password of an unattended station through the login screen.
Safari 3.1.2 for Windows
Apple on Thursday unveiled a new security update rolled into Safari 3.1.2 for Windows. Which offers users protection against vulnerabilities with the imaging engine, file saving, and malicious code execution. Users could have been affected by maliciously crafted BMP or GIF files, which could allow assailants to learn what is in active memory at any given time. Safari 3.1.2 for Windows is available through Apple Software Update, as well as the company's support page.
Security Update 2008-002
Apple today unveiled Security Update 2008-002, which provides a number of fixes for several system vulnerabilities found in AFP, CUPS, AppKit, and several other system-level resources. Most of the vulnerabilities revolve around maliciously crafted URLs granting access to system-level privileges, while others allow users to bypass system security. The majority of fixes are for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and Tiger Server users, while some apply to the 10.5 Leopard equivalents.
January security updates
Apple's latest Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2 update and 2008-001 security update for 10.4 Tiger users fixes a number of different vulnerabilities that have existed in a number of different system resources. A stack buffer overflow in Directory Services could allow a local user to execute arbitrary code, while still maintaining system privileges. The issue is resolved by improved bounds checking, and is included with the update.