SECURE IT ALERT: Huge OS X Update Closes 134 Security Holes

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Homeland Secure IT Alert

Homeland Secure IT Alert for Friday, November 12 2010

Apple Mac OS X users received some lovin’ in the security department this week with, count ’em, 134 security vulnerability fixes… These “holes” can allow an attacker to gain full control of your machine. The most common of which seems to be of the “rootkit” variety, giving full control of your machine, if only temporarily, to a remote user, mostly undetected by the user.

Please apply the updates to your systems as soon as possible.  If you require assistance, please contact us in Greenville / Upstate SC or your favorite Mac  computer service center.

Below is the announcement from WatchGuard…¬†¬†

Huge OS X Update Closes 134 Security Holes

Severity: Medium

11 November, 2010


  • These vulnerabilities affect: All current versions of OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) and OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard)
  • How an attacker exploits them:¬†Multiple vectors of attack, including enticing your users into downloading and viewing various documents or images
  • Impact: Various results; in the worst case, an attacker executes code on your user’s computer
  • What to do: OS X administrators should download, test and install OS X 10.6.5 or Security Update 2010-007 as soon as possible, or let Apple’s Software updater do it for you.


Today, Apple released a security update to fix vulnerabilities in all current versions of OS X. The update fixes 134 (number based on CVE-IDs) security issues in 34 components that ship as part of OS X or OS X Server, including Quicktime, ImageIO, and Apache. Some of the fixed vulnerabilities include:

  • Multiple ImageIO Buffer Overflow Vulnerability.ImageIO is one of the components that helps OS X handle various image file types. Unfortunately, it also suffers from various security vulnerabilities involving the way it handles certain types of image files (such as a buffer overflow vulnerability). Though these vulnerabilities differ technically, they generally share the same scope and impact. If an attacker can get a victim to view a specially crafted image file (perhaps hosted on a malicious website), he could exploit this flaw to either crash an application or to execute attack code on the victim’s computer. By default, the attacker would only execute code with that user’s privileges. The affected image types include, PNG, TIFF, and PSD.
  • Various ATS Vulnerabilities.¬†The Apple Type Service (ATS) helps OS X machines handle fonts. ATS suffers from various memory related vulnerabilities having to do with the way it handles certain types of embedded fonts. By tricking one of your users into downloading and viewing a malicious document containing a specially crafted font, an attacker can exploit this flaw to execute code on that user’s computer. By default, the attacker would only execute code with that user’s privileges.¬†
  • Nine Quicktime Vulnerabilities.¬† Quicktime is the popular video and media player that ships with OS X (and iTunes). Quicktime suffers from nine security issues (number based on CVE-IDs) involving how it handles certain image and video files. While the vulnerabilities differ technically, they share the same basic scope and impact. If an attacker can trick one of your users into viewing a maliciously crafted image or video in QuickTime, he could exploit any of these¬†flaws to execute code on that user’s computer, with that user’s privileges.

Apple’s alert also describes many other code execution vulnerabilities, as well as some Denial of Service (DoS) flaws, cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, information disclosure flaws, and other security issues. Components patched by this security update include:

AFP Server Apache mod_perl
Apache AppKit
ATS CFNetwork
CoreGraphics CoreText
CUPS Directory Service
diskdev_cmds Disk Images
Flash Player plugin gzip
Image Capture ImageIO
Image RAW Kernel
MySQL neon
Networking OpenLDAP
OpenSSL Password Server
PHP Printing
python QuickLook
QuickTime Safari RSS
Time Machine  Wiki Server
X11 xar

Please refer to Apple’s OS X 10.5.x and 10.6.x alert for more details.

Solution Path:

Apple has released OS X Security Update 2010-007 and OS X 10.6.5 to fix these security issues. OS X administrators should download, test, and deploy the corresponding update as soon as they can.

Note: If you have trouble figuring out which of these patches corresponds to your version of OS X, we recommend that you let OS X’s Software Update utility pick the correct updates for you automatically.

For All Users:

These flaws enable many diverse exploitation methods. Some of the exploits are local, meaning that your perimeter firewall never encounters the attack (unless you use firewalls internally between departments). Installing these updates, therefore, is the most secure course of action.


Apple has released updates to fix these flaws.


This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP.

WatchGuard makes a great line of internet security appliances that can help keep your network safe. Homeland Secure IT is proud to be a WatchGuard partner, offering sales, installation / service and consultation in Greenville & Upstate SC. If you would like more information on their products please call 864.990.4748 or

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