Apple Security Update Plugs Holes in Ruby

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2008-07-01 Print this article Print

In its fourth security update of the year, Apple fixes more than two dozen vulnerabilities affecting Mac OS X.

Apple's latest security update patches 25 vulnerabilities, including five previously disclosed flaws involving the open-source scripting language Ruby.

The update issued June 30 includes a number of critical fixes for Mac OS X systems and comes roughly a month after Apple issued a massive update for about 40 vulnerabilities. The previously disclosed flaws in Ruby are memory corruption issues that, according to Apple, exist in Ruby's handling of strings and arrays. The most serious can lead to arbitrary code execution.

"Running a Ruby script that uses un-trusted input to access strings or arrays may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution," Apple warned in its advisory.

A sixth flaw in Ruby can be exploited by a hacker to remotely access files protected by WEBrick's :NondisclosureName option. In all cases, the flaws affect Mac OS X v10.4.11, Mac OS X Server v10.4.11, Mac OS X v10.5 through v10.5.3 and Mac OS X Server v10.5 through v10.5.3.

The update also includes fixes for nine vulnerabilities in Apache Tomcat version 4.x, which is bundled on Mac OS X v10.4.11 systems. Updating to version 4.1.37 addresses these vulnerabilities, the most serious of which can lead to a cross-site scripting attack.

Among the other fixes is a patch for a flaw in Launch Services caused by a race condition in the download validation of symbolic links, when the target of the link changes during the narrow time window of validation. The flaw can be triggered by visiting a maliciously crafted Web site if the "Open 'safe' files" preference is enabled in the Safari Web browser, leading to code execution. The issue does not affect Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

The security update also features fixes for issues affecting Alias Manager, CoreTypes, Dock, c++filt, SMB File Server, VPN, System Configuration, Net-SNMP and WebKit.


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