September 29, 2016

Apple Releases OS X 10.6.7 And Fixes Pwn2Own Vulnerability

Apple has released OS X 10.6.7 a maintenance release of the “Snow Leopard” Mac operating system and a security update for OS X Leopard (10.5). On the security front 10.6.7 and Security Update 2011-001 for 10.5 essentially deal with the same issues. OS X 10.6.7 also adds some minor new functionality to OS X Snow Leopard.

At the heart of these updates are patches for the vulnerabilities recently demonstrated at Pwn2Own the annual hacking contest where the winners receive the device/computer that they successfully hacked and a cash prize. During this years contest (held in early March) Charlie Miller used an exploit in the iPhone 4’s built-in Safari browser to surf to a specially created Web site hosting a Microsoft PowerPoint document. Opening the document allowed Miller to hijack the iPhone. However it has now been revealed that this vulnerability was not limited to iOS but also exists in OS X.

The full list of security fixes in 10.6.7 is quite long but the highlights are:

  • AirPort – When connected to Wi-Fi, an attacker on the same network may be able to cause a system reset
  • Apache is updated to version 2.2.17 to address several vulnerabilities, the most serious of which may lead to a denial of service
  • CoreText – Viewing or downloading a document containing a maliciously crafted embedded font may lead to arbitrary code execution
  • HFS – A local user may be able to read arbitrary files from an HFS, HFS+, or HFS+J filesystem
  • ImageIO – Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
  • ImageIO – Viewing a maliciously crafted image may result in an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
  • Kernel – A local user may be able to execute arbitrary code with system privileges
  • PHP is updated to version 5.3.4 (5.2.14 on OS X 10.5) to address multiple vulnerabilities, the most serious of which may lead to arbitrary code execution
  • QuickLook – Downloading a maliciously crafted Microsoft Office file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution

10.6.7 also adds some minor improvements / features including:

  • Includes Safari 5.0.4.
  • Includes RAW image compatibility for additional digital cameras.
  • Improves brightness on external displays and projectors.
  • Includes the ability to repair certain issues that may prevent hardware RAID volumes from mounting.