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Apple patches 10 iPhone bugs, 4 QuickTime flaws.

Byline: (Staff)

Apple issued a pair of updates yesterday that patched 10 vulnerabilities in its iPhone software and four in its QuickTime player The media player software that comes with QuickTime for the Mac and Windows. See QuickTime.  program.<p>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.<p>Wednesday's update patched a vulnerability in the iPhone's telephony service that attackers could exploit to disrupt SMS (1) (Storage Management System) Software used to routinely back up and archive files. See HSM.

(2) (Systems Management Server) Systems management software from Microsoft that runs on Windows NT Server.
 (Short Message Service) text messaging Sending short messages to a smartphone, pager, PDA or other handheld device. Text messaging implies sending short messages generally no more than a couple of hundred characters in length.  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.<p>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.<p>Apple quashed that bug in a single-patch update released July 31.<p>"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 A condition in which a system can no longer respond to normal requests. See denial of service attack. ] and didn't even interrupt calls."<p>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.<p>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 In computer security, arbitrary code is executable code introduced externally that runs despite the intent of the original programmer. The code is injected into a currently-running application or its memory space, thus making the application execute the code.  execution" to denote vulnerabilities that could be used by attackers to gain complete control of the iPhone.<p>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.<p>Other vulnerabilities had the potential to expose an iPhone owner's Microsoft Exchange Messaging and groupware software for Windows from Microsoft. Exchange Server is an Internet-compliant e-mail system that runs under Windows NT/2000 and Windows Server 2003. It can be accessed by Web browsers, the Exchange client, versions of Outlook and the earlier Windows Inbox.  e-mail account e-mail account ncuenta de correo , let unauthorized people access deleted e-mails or a supposedly-locked iPhone, or disclose sensitive information on the smartphone.<p>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.<p>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.<p>Apple also updated QuickTime for both the Mac and Windows to version 7.6.4, fixing four flaws, all critical.<p>According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Apple's advisory, all four vulnerabilities involved QuickTime's handling of file formats, a common cause of the player's problems. Two of the vulnerabilities related to improper parsing See parse.

parsing - parser
 of H.264 movie files, while the remaining pair were due to issues in handling MPEG-4 video files and FlashPix image files.<p>"These are the kinds of bugs one would come to expect from QuickTime," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security, echoing comments regularly made by experts about QuickTime's knack for harboring file format flaws.<p>Two of the four vulnerabilities were reported to Apple by 3Com TippingPoint's bug bounty program, Zero Day Initiative (ZDI ZDI Zero Day Initiative (3Com/Tippingpoint) ). Three months ago, when Apple last patched QuickTime, six of the 10 flaws had been reported by the ZDI program.<p>Monday's update was Apple's third this year for the player, which has been patched against 21 vulnerabilities so far in 2009; last year, Apple patched 30 QuickTime bugs.<p>Updating to QuickTime 7.6.4, however, will disable the QuickTime Pro functionality of versions earlier than v. 7, Apple acknowledged in a separate support document. QuickTime 6 Pro users, for example, will need to buy the $29.99 QuickTime 7 Pro activation code to restore the lost features if they upgrade to 7.6.4.<p>Mac users can upgrade to QuickTime 7.6.4 using the operating system's built-in Software Update feature, while Windows users can either download the new QuickTime from Apple's site or use the optional Windows update An updating service on Microsoft's Web site that enables users to obtain bug fixes and new features for their version of Windows. Windows Update components analyze your PC's configuration and display a list of appropriate downloads for your individual system.  tool.<p>Copyright 2009 IDG IDG International Data Group
IDG Integrated Drive Generator
IDG Installation Design Guide
IDG Internet Discussion Group
IDG Inset Dielectric Guide
IDG International Dangerous Goods (mail, shipping) 
 Middle East. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Network World Middle East
Date:Sep 14, 2009
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