has released an update of its flagship
Mac OS X operating system to fix seven serious security holes that could
leak sensitive information and lead to DoS and system access attacks.
Apple pushed out the new version — Mac OS X 10.2.5 — after security
research firm @Stake warned
warned of known holes in the operating system’s implementations of OpenSSL,
Apache Server, Sendmail and Samba and two new vulnerabilities in the
DirectoryService that can cause a denial-of-service.
A vulnerability alert from Secunia tagged the security holes with an
“extremely critical” rating, especially because of the known
Sendmail flaw that could allow an attacker to gain control of a
unpatched Sendmail server.
In urging all users to upgrade to the latest Mac OS X 10.2.5 release,
Apple said the previous versions contained an information disclosure
vulnerability in OpenSSL that can be exploited by intruders to gain
knowledge of the pre-master secret, which can be used to identify the
session keys used during SSL/TLS sessions.
It also plugs an exceptional handling error issue in the Apache Server
which can lead to denial-of-service attacks if an attacker sends multiple
HTTP requests, which include large chunks of linefeeds.
The new holes, in DirectoryServices, leaves the Mac OS X susceptible to
several attacks, ultimately allowing a local user to obtain root privileges.
“In order for an attacker to exploit this vulnerability, they must first
cause DirectoryServices to terminate. This can be done by simply connecting
to port 625 repeatedly using an automated program,” @Stake warned.
The fixed version of the Mac OS X is available
Apple also announced that the new version has been jazzed up to include
Bluetooth support for Nokia 7650 and P800 phones. The operating system’s
Bluetooth Setup Assistant will also work with certain Microsoft keyboards
and mouse devices and adds Image Capture support for Canon EOS 10D, ZR65,
and ZR 70 cameras, the company said.
Mac OS X 10.2.5 also adds disc burning support for several devices and
improves Mail’s selection of character encoding for messages sent in some
foreign languages. It also promises improved reliability of AppleEvents
traffic (inter-application communication) between software running in the
Classic environment and native Mac OS X.