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Apple, which perpetually makes fun of Microsoft's Windows for being "buggy" and "virus prone" is yet again endangering its users with lax security and poorly written code.  (Source: Apple)

This time Apple's latest security woe is a "highly critical" flaw in its Safari browser; and Apple is yet again silent on the issue.
Cyberthieves can use the vulnerability to execute arbitrary code, steal information

Apple's arrogant air when it comes to security has yet again come back to bite it.  This time Danish security research firm Secunia discovered yet another vulnerability in the web browser Safari, which they billed as "highly critical" -- their most serious rating.

Secondary confirmation of the bug came from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) (part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security), which issued an advisory after Polish researcher Krystian Kloskowski disclosed the bug on Friday.

The bug exploits Apple's poor implementation of code that handle's the browser's parent windows.  According to Secunia, "This can be exploited to execute arbitrary code when a user visits a specially-crafted Web page and closes opened pop-up windows."

US-CERT adds that HTML email opened in webmail services such as Gmail or Windows Live Hotmail may also exploit the flaw.  By compromising the operating system, hackers are free to log user information (such as credit cards or personal contacts) and install malware to accomplish a host of evils.

The flaw works in Windows 7 on the latest version of Safari 4 (4.0.5).  "Other versions may also be affected" according to US-CERT -- so OS X users of Safari aren't off the hook yet.  Charlie Miller, noted Mac hacker and security expert was not available to verify whether the bug existed in OS X.  He's on vacation after hacking Safari and earning $10,000 in loot in March at the Pwn2Own contest.

Miller has stated that Macs and Apple software are often easier to hack than PCs and Windows software.  Overall there's been relatively little interest in hacking Macs or Apple products, but what little attention there has been has revealed a host of security flaws.  Apple patched 16 flaws in Safari in mid-March -- including 10 that affected OS X.  Miller's exploit was among those flaws fixed.

Apple is keeping quiet on the latest danger to its customers -- its usual response to such security dangers.  Security experts at US-CERT and Secunia are providing Safari users with some sound advice for now at least -- don't open untrusted HTML emails, and disable JavaScript except on trusted sites.

Many security experts have criticized Apple's lax stance on security and poorly implemented products.  Charlie Miller states, "Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town."

Or as Mac researcher Dino Dai Zovi once put it, "There is no magic fairy dust protecting Macs.  Writing exploits for [Microsoft] Vista is hard work. Writing exploits for Mac is a lot of fun."


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RE: silly security experts
By dflynchimp on 5/10/2010 7:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
I know right? the bugs and viruses hit the distortion field and BOOM they are suddenly changed into new and improved "magical" features.


RE: silly security experts
By amanojaku on 5/10/2010 7:13:03 PM , Rating: 5
IT Security: Let me see your patch level.
Jobs: [with a small wave of his hand] You don't need to see his patch level.
IT Security: We don't need to see his patch level.
Jobs: These aren't the exploits you're looking for.
IT Security: These aren't the exploits we're looking for.
Jobs: He can go on the 'net.
IT Security: You can go on the 'net.
Jobs: Move along.
IT Security: Move along... move along.


"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs














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