Other World Computing
Feature Graphic
iPhone 6/6+, Hot Thighs and Tights Pants, What's Wrong with iPhone Lines
Feature Graphic
How to get photos on to iOS 8 iCloud Photo Library
Feature Graphic
iPhone pre-orders, iOS 8, Tim Cook Interview + More
Feature Graphic
Podcast: iPhone 6, Watch, Apple Pay, etc, etc
Feature Graphic
Podcast: Cloud security tips, TheFappening, Apple Event, plus more
IGM Logo

| Home | Contact | Advertising | Search | Submit


Safari flaw spawns new security furor [u]



By

With the iCal security controversy still echoing, a different issue, this time involving Apple's browser, is ratcheting up the hype, with Microsoft publicly stating that Windows users should avoid the application until a patch is produced.

The Safari carpet bomb attack (ZDNet, May 15) isn't a vulnerability per se, only serious annoyance and not a way for an attacker to take over a computer. As of this writing, a "rogue website" could cause hundreds of files to be downloaded to a user's desktop or downloads folder.

Apple isn't concerned and has said they're not going to patch the issue any time soon. Others are demanding action.

Apple Store


Those demands didn't get much attention until yesterday, that is, when Microsoft issued an advisory (The Register) to Windows users saying that they should avoid Safari until the issue is addressed by either Redmond or Apple.

Although there's isn't an attack vector, Microsoft is concerned that should one be developed, a user could find himself deluged under a barrage of hundreds of simultaneously executing files. Alternately, Microsoft could be making a point about how seriously they take "security" as opposed to Apple.

Still, the nut of the issue, according to security expert Nitesh Dhanjani (ZDNet), is this:

It is possible for a rogue website to litter the userís Desktop (Windows) or Downloads directory (~/Downloads/ in OSX). This can happen because the Safari browser cannot be configured to obtain the userís permission before it downloads a resource. Safari downloads the resource without the userís consent and places it in a default location (unless changed).

Apple won't create a tick box. That's the point. But, users almost universally ignore tick boxes and Apple's choosing to go with the "wisdom of the crowd," which is all well and fine until an actual attack vector appears and those hundreds of downloads begin executing (and we actually need that tick box).

Then again, no one seems to be discussing the probability of anyone creating such a vector (Are we talking about toddlers randomly combining pieces of code or would it require a multi-year NSA skunkworks project to get it done?).

[u] For Windows users, at least, an attack vector for the "carpet bombing" vulnerability now exists. A so-called "blended attack," requires that a user have both Internet Explorer and Safari installed.

Here's the dope from Aviv Raff:

This combined Safari/IE vulnerability might still be successfully exploited, even if the user will change Safari's download location. Also, the Safari "Carpet Bomb" vulnerability can be used in combination with vulnerabilities in other products, so even if MS fixes their vulnerability,† Safari users will still be vulnerable ... The current best solution is to stop using Safari until Apple fixes their vulnerability. [u]

But, wait, isn't the lack of a real or likely attack vector one of the bitter issues between Apple and Core Securities vis-a-vis iCal? Yup.

The signal to noise to echo ratio is getting absurd...

eMusic: 25 Free MP3 Downloads!
No DRM, No Restrictions, No Problem!


Trans Intl

Spacer

Connect with Insanely Great Mac


spacer

Recent Articles

- Taking stock of Apple's own OS X apps
- Continuity Activation Tool now for USB dongles
- The backstory on iOS 8's wallpaper
- Twelve South announces BookBook for iPhone 6/6+
- Apple's new touching The Song ad
- Video: Post-It Note App for iOS captures your notes
- iDevices looks to jumpstart Homekit adoption
- Initial Apple-IBM enterprise solutions announced
- OWC announces SSD upgrade for new Mac Pros
- Apple TV gets YouTube update
- iTunes features best of 2014
- Link: Gift Guide for Bourbon Drinkers
- iPad 2 ad Change
- Jimmy Iovine interview on selling Beats to Apple
- Elgato ships Thunderbolt 2 Dock
- Quora: Should Apple recall the iPhone 6 Plus?
- Link - iCloud security tips
- Other World Computing Holiday Specials
- Trans Intl Holiday Deals
- Pocket reveals interesting metrics on iPhone 6 vs 6 Plus
- Dropbox now integrated with Microsoft Office
- Having a Password Emergency Kit
- Corning announced Gorilla Glass 4
- Mythbusters explain Gorilla Glass
- Podcast: App Store Get vs Free, Pappy Van Winkle, CoD, Plus More!


Browse and search for more articles

IGM Specials

Mercury Extreme SSD
60GB - $47
120GB - $67
240GB - $134

480GB - $245

960GB - $619

iMac RAM
8GB Kit - $97
16GB Kit - $195
32GB Kit - $394

External Storage
500 GB - $129.99
1 TB RAID - $219.99
Mobile RAID - $190

Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet - $15

Thunderbolt 2 PCIe Expansion - $189

Thunderbolt 2 HDD Enclosure - $299

MacBook Pro RAM
16GB Kit - $148
21GB Kit - $288


Other World Computing

Other World Computing





Home

About

Advertising

Search

Copyright 1995-2014 Insanely Great Mac. All rights reserved.
Privacy Statment | Terms of Service | Editorial Policy