Apple updates iPhone, beats researchers' deadline
Five-patch fix quashes bug that could make phone do hacker's bidding
Computerworld - Apple Inc. issued the first security update for the iPhone yesterday, beating an Aug. 2 deadline to fix a flaw researchers said could be used to steal data from the device or even force it to make calls or secretly record conversations.
The iPhone 1.0.1 update, which is delivered through Apple's iTunes software and doesn't show up in the usual Software Update panel in Mac OS X (even when the phone is connected to a Mac), fixes two flaws in the Safari browser -- one in WebCore and two in WebKit. WebCore is the part of the WebKit application framework that handles HTML rendering in the Mac operating system.
All five bugs are related to browsing, and include cross-site scripting and address-spoofing vulnerabilities. The two most dangerous vulnerabilities -- one in Safari, one in WebKit -- could be used by hackers to execute attack code on a vulnerable iPhone and possibly hijack the device. Although Apple does not rate vulnerabilities as Microsoft Corp. and other companies do, both of these bugs would rank as "critical" on most vendors' threat scales.
The critical Safari bug was first disclosed last week by a trio of researchers at Baltimore-based Independent Security Evaluators (ISE), who said then that they would provide more information on the vulnerability and their exploit code in a presentation Thursday afternoon at the Black Hat security conference.
In a paper posted to the Internet last week, the three stated that because the iPhone runs all network processes with full administrative privileges, hacking any application -- say Safari -- on the phone gives an attacker complete access to all data on the iPhone and its operating system's APIs.
IPhone users can wait out the update interval -- iTunes automatically checks Apple's update servers once a week -- or retrieve the patches manually by selecting "Check for Update" under the iTunes Help menu and then docking the iPhone to the PC or Mac.
Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.
- Radicati: Cloud Business Email - Market Quadrant 2013 Google was named the top cloud business email provider in a recent report by research firm Radicati. Out of 14 key players, Google...
- Tablets in the Enterprise: A Checklist for Successful Deployment How can you enterprise manage and secure tablets in order to protect corporate data while providing access to the information and applications employees...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- Enterprise File Sync & Share Checklist File sync and share has changed the way people work and collaborate in today's tech-savvy world. Gone are the email roadblocks, clunky FTP...
- Live Webcast LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Security White Papers | Webcasts