Mac OS X hit with another serious security issue

When it rains, it pours. Yet another "highly critical" hole has been found in Apple Computer Inc.'s Mac OS X operating system, which will allow remote system access by getting someone to visit a malicious Web site. Lixlpixel has reported a vulnerability dealing with how basic Internet elements are addressed in the OS' help facility that allow arbitrary local scripts to be executed on a user's machine. It is also possible to place files in a known location on a system by asking users to download a ".dmg" disk image file. A default browser option in Explorer and Safari will mean a single user click is enough to drive the whole process.

The combination of the two holes, tested and confirmed by security experts Secunia, can therefore allow system access to be achieved "very simply" according to Secunia CTO Thomas Kristensen. The holes affect Safari 1.x and Explorer 5.x. The solution is to change browser options and rename the help URI handler. More details are available on Secunia's site. In the past fortnight, controversy has reigned over security vulnerabilities in the Mac OS, with three security companies accusing Apple of downplaying significant security holes -- twice -- and leaving their customers at risk of compromise.

News source: InfoWorld

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