Apple sitting on iOS exploit fix

Apple has reportedly readied a fix for an exploit uncovered yesterday which could potentially allow hackers to gain un-permitted access to devices running Apple's mobile operating system, iOS.

Apple said yesterday that it was "investigating" the issue, but today released a statement saying it had found a solution to the exploit which will be made available in a "coming update" - likely iOS 4.1, which is currently being tested by registered Apple iPhone developers.

"We're aware of this reported issue, we have already developed a fix and it will be available to customers in an upcoming software update," an Apple spokesperson told CNET.

The two security exploits, highlighted by only current web-based iPhone jailbreak which launched last weekend, relate to the way the iOS web browser, Safari, reads PDF files on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

One of the exploits utilizes the methods that Safari uses to read and parse PDF files to gain access to the 'protective sandbox', while the second hole allows the code to get out of the 'sandbox' and access root control privileges for the device -- potentially allowing hackers the ability to install rogue apps that could monitor user actions.

The second hole -- the one which gives malicious code access to the root control privileges for the device -- is so worrying that the German Government's Federal Office for Information Security suggested users avoid opening PDF files until a fix is made available.

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38 Comments

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Oh well, we all had to figure that this would be a simple fix for Apple. After all its only a pdf exploit. I figure we will see another jailbreak method in a couple weeks, maybe Spirit V2?, ya never know what the Dev Team could be up to. Lets all hope that they are already cooking up something.

They really should release a 4.0.2 patch immediately to keep face. Delaying for 4.1 isn't a very satisfying response especially for corporate users. Well, unless it is released very very soon.

bluarash said,
Why not just hold off on 4.1 until the iPhone 5? I think version 4.1 of the OS should be an iPhone 5 exclusive.

Why should it be exclusive to the 5th gen iPhone?

bluarash said,
How does a 4.1 update work if you have an iPad or iOS3?

It will probably remain unpatched in iOS3, but 4.1 should be available for the iPad as well.

i always feel that iphone os sounds much better...simply because it's intended to be use only on phone...but extend it to other device shouldn't effect the name...but the name IOS is just childish!!!

IphoneMini said,
i always feel that iphone os sounds much better...simply because it's intended to be use only on phone...but extend it to other device shouldn't effect the name...but the name IOS is just childish!!!

Yeah iOS does sound about as childish as "My Documents". When will these companies learn....

Shadrack said,

Yeah iOS does sound about as childish as "My Documents". When will these companies learn....

Did you think the same of the name when Cisco started using it for the operating system on their routers?

roadwarrior said,

Did you think the same of the name when Cisco started using it for the operating system on their routers?

Yeah but Cisco was using it as their OS name WAY before Apple came along and stole it.

satus said,
If I made a phone and some guys can jailbreak it right on the web, I'd be very embarrassed.

Hackers are constantly working on finding new exploits with any hardware/software, from satellite receivers to PDF readers (as in this case), because that's what hackers do.

Don't try to make it sound like an exclusive Apple or iPhone thing.

satus said,
If I made a phone and some guys can jailbreak it right on the web, I'd be very embarrassed.
It happens all the time on any OS (mobile or desktop). There's been MUCH worst exploits, look at Blaster....the user had to...wait...DO NOTHING...now that's embarrassing...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaster_%28computer_worm%29

Farchord said,

Ahh, MS Blast.... Now those are fond memories.....

Yeah, it was fun trying to set up a new computer and get all of the updates before the machine got infected. At one point, it was damned near impossible to NOT get Blaster if you were setting up a new computer unless you had a CD with all of the updates.

Agreed, amazing virus. I couldn't setup my computer at that time. If you had internet connection it was just matter of seconds to get 60 seconds restart window.

LOL I remember that day. I got one call from a friend, then another, then my cousin, then the list kept going... I was like... what the hell is going on?

0sm3l said,
LOL I remember that day. I got one call from a friend, then another, then my cousin, then the list kept going... I was like... what the hell is going on?

that was a good day money wise

roadwarrior said,

Yeah, it was fun trying to set up a new computer and get all of the updates before the machine got infected. At one point, it was damned near impossible to NOT get Blaster if you were setting up a new computer unless you had a CD with all of the updates.

Uh, wouldn't a basic firewall (even NAT) protect against Blaster? Why would you be connecting a non-firewalled exploitable system directly to the Internet in the first place?

Sticktron said,

Hackers are constantly working on finding new exploits with any hardware/software, from satellite receivers to PDF readers (as in this case), because that's what hackers do.

Don't try to make it sound like an exclusive Apple or iPhone thing.

I am just talking about making phone. Where did I mention Apple or PC virus?

Xenomorph said,

Uh, wouldn't a basic firewall (even NAT) protect against Blaster? Why would you be connecting a non-firewalled exploitable system directly to the Internet in the first place?

No, NAT and firewalls didn't necessarily protect against Blaster. All it took was one infected machine inside your network for EVERY machine in the network to become vulnerable. It was a nightmare for the college I was attending at the time. I was in a network support class and we were in the process of setting up a room full of Windows 2000 Server machines when it hit. It took down EVERY one of them.

roadwarrior said,

Yeah, it was fun trying to set up a new computer and get all of the updates before the machine got infected. At one point, it was damned near impossible to NOT get Blaster if you were setting up a new computer unless you had a CD with all of the updates.

Wasn't the necessary patch released way before blaster was an issue?

TheReasonIFailed said,

Wasn't the necessary patch released way before blaster was an issue?

Yes, but that wasn't much help when you were setting up new machines with a clean install of Windows 2000 Server and had to go to Windows Update to GET the patch. Most machines were infected before they even managed to get the patch downloaded.

Sticktron said,

Hackers are constantly working on finding new exploits with any hardware/software, from satellite receivers to PDF readers (as in this case), because that's what hackers do.

Don't try to make it sound like an exclusive Apple or iPhone thing.

I think the point of the rant was, all the iFans riduculous rants on iOS being so secure, when it fact its not. iOS and Mac OSX are the only OS' onthe market that can be exploited in under 10 secs. Windows which they all claim is so insecure, is a bit harder to crack usually taking 30 misn or longer. Basically steel and concrete are no more safer than wood and stone. As long as you have the right tools, you're going to break in.

The two security exploits, currently in use by the first ever web-based iPhone jailbreak which launched last weekend, relate to the way the iOS web browser, Safari, reads PDF files on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

jailbreakme.com isn't the FIRST EVER web based jailbreak.

edit: well, it was the first ever jailbreak, but this isn't the first time its been used, maybe clarify that a bit?

TurboTuna said,

jailbreakme.com isn't the FIRST EVER web based jailbreak.

edit: well, it was the first ever jailbreak, but this isn't the first time its been used, maybe clarify that a bit?

Was just about to post the same thing. Userland jailbreaks have been around since the very first iPhone as was Comex.

ermax said,
Your more secure to jailbreak and then install the Cydia app that blocks the exploit.

What is the app called?