Apple Shuts Down IPv6 Security Hole

Apple has slammed the door shut on denial-of-service attacks and a security bypass that Type 0 routing headers in IPv6 let in. The company on June 20 put out an update, Mac OS X 10.4.10, that addresses the problem by disabling support for the headers. This vulnerability has been left wide open in IPv6 even though it was well-known and shut down in IPv4; by default, all routing engines now turn it off.

This particular type of packet header can be used to crazily bounce network packets back and forth between hops on their route, clogging up bandwidth and potentially causing a DoS. Back in April, two researchers, EADS Corporate Research Center research engineers Philippe Biondi and Arnaud Ebalard, showed that when you can specify where your nodes route packets, you can create a loop—for example, from hop A to hop B to hop A to hop B—that exponentially jacks up Internet traffic, thus causing a DDoS (distributed DoS).

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News source: eWeek

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7 Comments

The company ... put out an update ... that addresses the problem by disabling support for the headers.

Great idea. Why don`t I fix bugs like that

And the slamming of Apple without researching begins...

This may have been "well known", as in publicly released, but it doesn't mean "well known", as in having been announced 10 years ago. The article says it was announced in April with a demonstration.

Let's do a quick look at other OSes that have patched this:
Red Hat: Patched 5 weeks ago
OpenBSD: Patched 8 weeks ago (if I follow that source patch link right)

Since this specific item doesn't seem to affect Microsoft Windows, I looked up a different IPV6 DoS flaw for Windows, for comparison purposes, and see this:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/...n/MS06-064.mspx
It seems that was issued 10/10/2006, and fixed the three items listed here:
http://secunia.com/advisories/22341/
containing advisories from 2004 and 2005.

This may or may not be representative of every Microsoft patch (they are quick on some recent items, if I recall correctly), but it shows that some DoS items can be fixed in months, and some seem to require longer.

Feel free to criticize slow patches where it makes sense, but this news blurb says the problem was demonstrated 8 weeks ago. I don't think that this is enough of a delay for posting vulgarities that Neowin automatically stars out.

I'm sure using terminology such as 'slammed the door shut' makes everyone with a macintosh feel safer.

Umm if this is the update that was released today on software update why did my mac reboot like 2 times and took ages to boot the second time, did it on the last update to is something wrong?

It is perfectly normal for that to happen after an update. Same thing happened to me after updating to 10.4.9 and 10.4.10

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