Unpatched QuickTime Vulnerability Exploited

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A recent vulnerability in Apple's QuickTime software is reportedly being successfully exploited on the internet, according to security research vendor Symantec.

    The vulnerability affects recent versions of QuickTime, including 7.2 and 7.3, and remains unpatched by Apple. The vulnerability lies in improper handling of RTSP headers which can lead to a buffer overflow where an attacker can execute their own code. Symantec rates the vulnerability as "High" criticality.

    Now, Symantec reports (via Macworld) that the vulnerability is being exploited in the wild. Both known exploits involve redirection from the intended web page to a server that uses the vulnerability to load code onto the victim's machine.

    Initially, the attacks appear to be loading Windows executables, however Symantec warns that the vulnerability affects both Windows and Mac operating systems.

    Symantec suggests the following for mitigating risk until a patch is released:

    Symantec also suggests that as a last step, users and IT managers consider uninstalling QuickTime until a patch is released.

    Article Link
  2. eme jota ce macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2005

    This is the type of security vulnerability that I find most threatening b/c there's no "Are you sure you want to open this App." final warning.

    Anyone know if the executable code needs to load into an Admin user's account or any old account?
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Pardon my language but this is hysterical and outrageously funny!

    I can't wait to see the next Windows exploit in action and this;

    Symantec also suggests that as a last step, users and IT managers consider uninstalling Windows until a patch is released.
  4. Fotek2001 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    London, England
    Isn't Leopard's library memory randomization supposed to make buffer overflow attacks like this impossible?
  5. Brian Green macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA

    I was just thinking the same thing. Leopard was supposed to have killed the buffer overflow possibility. Hopefully someone with knowledge about this Leopard feature will be able to shed some light on this for us.

    My gut feeling says this is BS.
  6. eastcoastsurfer macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2007
    Nothing in security is foolproof. A friend of mine was at a security conference a few weeks ago and people were giving presentations and demonstrating ways around address randomization.
  7. morespce54 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2004
    Around the World
    sure... and how are we is supposed to do that? :eek::rolleyes:
  8. Data macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2006
    Well i don't know how bad it actually is but i sure hope apple adresses this problem asap.
  9. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Ah yes.

    Symantec is now working it's way into the pocketbooks of Macintosh users. I will just use VLC and disable QuickTime for the time being, though I don't go to to sites or download videos from untrusted sources anyway.

    As always, your best defense against these things, is some good old common sense!
  10. sososowhat macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    I know nothing about whether buffer overflow is impossible in Leopard, but if that's not the case would this be the very first time a real, exploited vulnerability has been in the wild for OS X?
  11. ChoMomma macrumors 6502


    I believe it also said that:

    So is it true that if it did load a Mac OS "executable" it would run without Admin permission?
  12. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    No. This is still mostly a Window problem.

    Mac users should, of course, continue to be careful. Also, it's still very bad news for Apple...putting out insecure Windows software sure doesn't make them look good. Why should potential switchers think Mac are safer if the Apple software on their current PC isn't safe?
  13. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I was gonna say, even though it is a vulnerability in Apple software, it is at least only targeting (so far) Windows binaries.

    At least, knowing Apple, they will hopefully have a patch released quite quickly.
  14. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    Why is it so funny? I don't there are many businesses that need QT available on user machines for work to get done. If the exploit spreads or adapts, the current solutions may become ineffective. I would think that, if viable and as serious as SYMN makes it sound (of course, when you wait 10 days to make notice you have to wonder how serious it can be) it would be very responsible for most IT managers to lock down something as minor as QT until this can get sorted out.

    I can't remember if that old Leopard pics deal was an exploit - it's so far removed from my memory, that it's just a haze. But I wouldn't call this an OS X exploit yet. From what it sounds like, the situation could feed the "marketshare" defense, with OS X being overlooked for some reason (marketshare still too low?), as only Windows is actually being affected.
  15. vassillios macrumors 6502


    Feb 1, 2005
    did you miss this:

    "however Symantec warns that the vulnerability affects both Windows and Mac operating systems."
  16. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    He didn't miss it. The point is that the Windows hole is being used to put Windows programs onto people's machines.

    The Mac hole is being used for...well, nothing yet.

    Once that changes, it's Mac problem. Until it does, it's not. (Of course, the flaw in and of itself is a problem...I've said that already. The point is that Windows users have an ACTUAL problem where Mac users have a potential problem. They're both bad, but one is worse than the other.)
  17. brentg33 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2007
    i was just reading on this site about the security hole in quicktime. I was wondering what exactly to look for to know whether or not you have been infected, now that the story indicates its "in the wild". Would something like clamXav be able to pick this up, and if so, what files would you need to scan?

    thanks, (sorry to all for being so nervous)
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I don't know about scanning for past infections, but the safest thing to do right now is just not use Quicktime until Apple puts out an update for it.

    That's not advice everyone can follow, I know, but if you can do it, go for it.
  19. John A macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2007
  20. shawnce macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2004
    Humm a newbie posting a link to a site about a exploit that can take place if a site is malicious. ;)

    Think I will pass for the moment.
  21. Snowy_River macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Corvallis, OR
    ZDNet reported on this. According to their report, that actual exploit that exists in the wild is rated as "Very Low Risk". So, it seems that this is nothing to get overly hyped about.

    The one thing that I do see this as is a wake up call to Apple. This vulnerability has been present through several updates to QT. Maybe now we'll see a patch for it? One can only hope...
  22. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Thank you, yes, that's what I meant. I think we're still taking advantage of the relatively low mind- and market-share... given an equal opportunity to target an exploit, people still go for the Windows one because of the higher potential for damage/publicity. It's almost like the malware writers don't want to hurt us :)

    I've seen this a lot... there's always a new Windows vulnerability that is exposed and made public because the latest virus exploited it and thousands of people or companies are damaged. It's all over the news, people get paranoid, damage control happens.

    While the Apple vulnerabilities tend to be discovered, illustrated with a single proof-of-concept, Apple engineers go "oopsies!" and fix it, and that's that, life goes on. Nobody gets hurt.

    This may change, but so far the outlook is pretty good.
  23. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Hypothetically, if at some point this exploit affects Macs in addition to Windows, would Leopard's new firewall settings have a role in blocking it?
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    A technical question: Symantec recommends blocking access to a number of IP addresses and domains. Assuming someone wanted to do this on their Mac or network, how would it be accomplished?
  25. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    Difficult but not impossible. I'm no expert on the topic of memory randomization, but the way I understand it, then yes, it makes this kind of vulnerability very difficult to exploit.

    For those of you who don't understand it, think of it this way. Imagine the memory of your computer like a map of your hometown. Some vandal wants to change some of the street names to mess with your map. In order for him to do that, he needs to know the exact longitude and latitude of those streets. It's easy for him because he can buy a map of your hometown and get that same information. What Leopard does is chops that map up into little squares and randomly arranges your map, but is also smart enough to know how to continue reading it like normal. Nobody is able to buy a map arranged exactly like that so nobody can get the exact information they need to vandalize your map. It doesn't mean they can't. They just can't quite zero in on exact targets anymore.

    That's not a perfect analogy, but you get the idea.

Share This Page