Other Unpatched Flaws
Miller did not use two other unpatched vulnerabilities in Safari, also revealed just days after the browser was released. The first is a pretty simple overflow; all one need do is download a ZIP file with an overly long file name, and it allows code execution. The second allows injection of content in a window belonging to a trusted site. Then a Slashdot thread reported on research that confirms other research that indicates Apple issues patches for known vulnerabilities more slowly than Microsoft, with the result that there are more unpatched vulnerabilities on Apple platforms.In January, Microsoft's Jeff Jones issued a report comparing vulnerability disclosures and patches on several desktop OS platforms, including OS X 10.4 and Vista. One year after Vista's release, Microsoft had fixed 36 vulnerabilities over a total of nine patching events, and 30 unpatched vulnerabilities remained. In the first year of OS X 10.4, Apple fixed a total of 116 vulnerabilities over 17 patching events, and at the end there were 41 unpatched vulnerabilities.And the data doesn't stop there. In the week of March 17, Apple issued another one of its massive security updates, covering 87 different vulnerabilities (as measured by the CVE numbers). Of those 87 vulnerabilities, 44 have CVE numbers from 2007, four from 2006 and two from 2005. The oldest of these, CVE-2005-3352, was fixed by Apache in 2005. So I have no trouble believing that Apple is slower than a turtle in the tar pits, let alone Microsoft. And yet the Mac continues not to be widely attacked in the real world. With their reputation among security professionals taking a nosedive and malware for the Mac on the increase, things could change real soon. Unless all that talk of the Mac market share increasing is just hot air. Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. For insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer's blog Cheap Hack.