Print 61 comment(s) - last by coferj.. on May 16 at 2:08 PM

Company is showing signs of improvement, past flaws took it up to a year to patch

Famed OS X hacker Charlie Miller once told a security blog, "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."

But of late there have been some thieves in the farm house, and even Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has started to admit that it has security issues -- well, after realizing that telling its technicians to lie to customers about them might be bad publicity.  One recent piece of malware is estimated to have infected 600K Macs and generated millions in profit for identity thieves alone.

Kapersky Labs, a top security firm recently warned the public that Apple's security was 10 years behind Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT).  Evidence of that was seen in the 10.7.3 build of OS X "Lion", which due a programming error (a stray debugging flag left on in OS X's source) accidentally logged in plaintext the passwords of users who used legacy FileVault settings.

An Apple user, Eric Hildum complained in the support forums three months ago:

I’ve tried it on another Mac as well, same result: The login of a normal network user writes this log line as his homedir gets mounted.
This poses a security risk. We have some users who are local admins, they could ask another user to login on their Mac and look for the password afterwards. Extration in single user mode would be possible as well.

Is this a “speciality” of our environment or is this a known bug? Can I turn this behavior off?
We are running Lion clients with a SL Server and using OpenDirectory.

Apparently the Apple answer was that this was a "feature" for the time being, because the user received no reply to his pleas for three months.  Then a security researcher by the name of David Emery, posted his findings to the Cryptome mailing list, a list frequent by hackers.

Apple FileVault

As noted by Mr. Emery, the issue did not effect purchasers of new Lion systems, but might have affected many users of legacy systems who upgraded to Lion.

With the Cryptome email, the media began to catch wind of Lion's penchant for plaintext password dumping and Apple was forced into the awkward position of providing an "update" for its "feature".

Hence OS X 10.7.4 was born, and aired today to loyal Lion subscribers.  

The patch also "improves" other "features", such as no longer losing settings to the "reopen windows when logging back in" checkbox, and allowing "certain British third-party keyboards" to finally work.

Apple may still be living in the dark ages of security, but at least it's figured out not to stores users' passwords in plaintext, even if it took the company three months of complaints.  On the plus side, the three month turnaround is faster than past incidents where Apple took up to a year to fix past security issues/features.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: cheezy wording
By Argon18 on 5/10/2012 11:57:41 AM , Rating: -1
Those are some pretty desperate arguments bro. First off, Microsoft does not auto-update. You have to go into the settings and turn on that feature if you want it. OSX on the other hand automatically notifies you when an update is available, by default. Also, OSX is over a decade old now with not even a SINGLE virus. Not one. No anti-virus software is necessary. It only sees trojans, which are a joke. Don't install unknown shit, and you won't get the trojan. Easy. Windows on the other hand, is riddled with viruses, and if you don't keep your anti-virus up to date, you'll get infected in no time. New ones pop-up almost daily.

Microsoft = swiss cheese. Anything unix-based, OSX, Linux, etc. is vastly more secure, by design.

RE: cheezy wording
By matty123 on 5/10/2012 1:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it funny then how other apple fans will try and exclude android from the more secure OS's {even through following your logic it's based on UNIX and therefore by default more secure}.

In fact if android has shown anything it's that UNIX based systems are no more secure than any others as long as their is a will and enough market share malware inevitably crops up for a platform after a while.

Also microsoft does auto update, you've got it the wrong way round auto update is on by default and you willfully have to go and turn it off.

The same logic also applies to windows don't install unknown sh*t and you won't get a virus, I have been running windows for well over 12 years and the last time I got a virus was when I downloaded a game crack back in highschool.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Yahoo Hacked - Change Your Passwords and Security Info ASAP!
September 23, 2016, 5:45 AM
A is for Apples
September 23, 2016, 5:32 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki