Apple patches 10 iPhone bugs, 4 QuickTime flaws
Plugs iPhone browser, SMS holes; fixes file format flaws in oft-patched player software
Computerworld - Apple issued a pair of updates yesterday that patched 10 vulnerabilities in its iPhone software and four in its QuickTime player program.
One of the 10 flaws in the iPhone's software was related to a bug that Apple patched in a hurry last July, just a day after security researchers showed how hackers could hijack iPhones with a series of malicious text messages.
Wednesday's update patched a vulnerability in the iPhone's telephony service that attackers could exploit to disrupt SMS (Short Message Service) text messaging on the smartphone, Apple said in an accompanying security advisory. Apple credited Charlie Miller of Independent Security Evaluators and Collin Mulliner from the Technical University Berlin with reporting the flaw.
In late July, Miller and Mulliner demonstrated a more serious SMS vulnerability at the Black Hat security conference, showing how hackers could send apparently-harmless text messages, including messages that the iPhone's owner never sees, to silently operate smartphone features such as its camera or microphone.
Apple quashed that bug in a single-patch update released July 31.
"This was a different bug [than July's]," said Miller in an e-mail exchange. "We revealed it at Black Hat but hadn't given Apple advance notice since it was pretty minor. It was only a DoS [denial of service] and didn't even interrupt calls."
At the Black Hat presentation Miller and Mulliner gave in July, Miller said he thought there were more SMS bugs to be found in the iPhone; the pair had been able to test only a small subset of the possible scenarios.
Only two of the 10 vulnerabilities Apple patched with iPhone 3.1 were classified as critical. Although Apple doesn't rank or score flaws like other vendors, it uses the phrasing "arbitrary code execution" to denote vulnerabilities that could be used by attackers to gain complete control of the iPhone.
Of the two critical flaws, the first could be triggered by rigged audio files, while the second could be exploited through a malicious Web site designed to leverage a bug in WebKit, the rendering engine that powers the iPhone's Safari browser. Four of the 10 vulnerabilities involved WebKit.
Other vulnerabilities had the potential to expose an iPhone owner's Microsoft Exchange e-mail account, let unauthorized people access deleted e-mails or a supposedly-locked iPhone, or disclose sensitive information on the smartphone.
Apple has had problems with the iPhone's password-locking feature before. In August 2008, a researcher discovered a bug that allowed users to bypass a password-protected lock had resurfaced in iPhone 2.0. Apple quickly confirmed the bug, and patched it a month later.
Users can wait out the update interval -- iTunes automatically checks Apple's update servers once a week -- or retrieve iPhone 3.1 manually by selecting "Check for Update" under the iTunes Help menu and then docking the iPhone to a PC or Macintosh.
- As iPad sales slump, Cook hijacks analysts' fast-uptake explanation
- Android mobile ad traffic beats iOS for first time
- The iPad's expected ebb, and the search for why
- Apple customers downsize iPhone, iPad storage in March quarter
- Apple has bigger plans than just song ID with Shazam deal
- Automakers show off in-vehicle Wi-Fi, new smartphone interfaces
- First-to-market means diddly when it comes to smartwatches
- Apple slates WWDC for June 2-6, sets up ticket lottery
- Nadella to Cook on Office revenue sharing: Drop dead
- Microsoft scraps 'Windows-first' practice, puts Office on iPad before Surface
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Neustar 2014 DDoS Attacks and Impact Report For the third consecutive year, Neustar surveyed hundreds of companies on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The survey reveals evidence that the...
- Acxiom Case Study This case study, which focuses on Acxiom, explores how the company was able to secure employee data, reduce migration costs and boost productivity...
- Windows® XP Migration: Protect and Secure Critical Data With the end of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system's lifecycle on April 8, 2014, businesses are faced with the decision to migrate...
- Enhancing Application Protection and Recovery with a Modern Approach to Snapshot Management This CommVault Business Value and Technology White Paper explains how Simpana IntelliSnap® Recovery Manager can make your application recovery fast and reliable.
- 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