A security researcher releases a proof-of-concept exploit making use of a Java flaw affecting Mac OS X. The flaw can be exploited via drive-by attacks to gain control of a vulnerable system. Apple officials say they are working on a fix.
It's time for Apple
to close a security hole opened by vulnerable Java applets.
the message from security researcher and former Apple engineer Landon
Fuller, who posted a proof-of-concept exploit
that takes advantage of a
Java flaw that was fixed by Sun Microsystems months ago.
enables malicious code to escape the Java sandbox and run commands with the
permissions of the user. As a result, untrusted Java applets can execute
arbitrary code merely by visiting a Web page hosting the applet.
the fact that Sun fixed the issue in January, the
vulnerability remains in the JVMs
Apple is shipping, as well as in SoyLatte
it seems that many Mac OS X security issues are ignored if the severity of the
issue is not adequately demonstrated," Fuller wrote in a blog post May 19.
"Due to the fact that an exploit for this issue is available in the wild,
and the vulnerability has been public knowledge for six months, I have decided
to release... my own proof of concept to demonstrate the issue."
spokesperson for Apple told eWEEK the company is aware of the problem and is
working on a fix.
According to an advisory from Mac security company Intego,
can allow hackers to run code and potentially access or delete files on
any Mac, as well as run applications with the rights of the user.
"In addition, if this flaw is executed together with a privilege
escalation vulnerability, hackers could remotely run any system-level process
and get total access to any Mac," Intego officials stated.
far, Intego has not found any malicious applets in the wild. To mitigate the
issue, "Mac OS X users should disable Java applets in their browsers and
disable 'Open 'safe' files after downloading' in Safari," Fuller advised.
"SoyLatte users running untrusted code should upgrade to an
OpenJDK6-based release, where possible," as it is not affected by the vulnerability,
he added. Since SoyLatte does not provide browser plug-ins, the impact of the
vulnerability is limited as well.