Patched Macs Vulnerable to Samba Bug

Security company Symantec says Mac OS X is running with an outdated and vulnerable version of the open-source file and print program Samba.

Mac OS X is running with an outdated and vulnerable version of the open-source file and print program Samba, according to Symantecs DeepSight Threat Analyst Team.

The vulnerabilities, first published on May 14, involve multiple heap-based buffer overflow weaknesses in Sambas NDR RPC (remote procedure call) request.

Samba has been out since 1992 and runs on a dizzying array of systems, as is evidenced by the list of vulnerable platforms given in the May 14 alert. The vulnerability affects Samba 3 versions prior to 3.0.25.

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The DeepSight Threat Analyst Team recently discovered that Mac OS X includes Samba 3.0.10. Samba hasnt been updated on the Mac platform since that version, according to a May 26 team journal entry. On the same day, the team managed to exploit the heap-corruption vulnerability on a fully patched Mac OS X 10.4.9 system that was running the default Samba 3.0.10 program.

The DeepSight Threat Analyst Team has reported that an exploit for the heap-corruption vulnerability on Solaris was released privately on May 14 to Immunitys Canvas Partners. An exploit that targeted the weakness on multiple Linux distributions was added to the Metasploit exploit framework—an open-source security project that provides information about security vulnerabilities and aids in penetration testing—a few days following that.

"Although exploitation differs from what has been demonstrated in public exploits, other researchers would likely be able to quickly overcome the technical quirks associated with the platform," the Symantec team reported about its May 26 vulnerability exploit. Symantec is headquartered in Cupertino, Calif.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about recent security updates to Samba.

Samba doesnt run on Mac OS X systems by default; use requires that the operating system be configured to have the "Windows Sharing" service enabled, accessible under the Sharing option under Systems Preferences. The DeepSight Threat Analyst Team said mixed-platform networks may be more likely to have that option enabled.

The team is advising Mac OS X users to upgrade to the latest Samba version, 3.0.25, from Sambas official site. Otherwise, users can disable the Windows Sharing service until Apple has an official update available via its Software Update service. The team also advised users to select the lock function to avoid inadvertent re-enabling of the service.

This command can confirm whether Samba is running:

$ ps -aux | grep smbd | grep -v grep

If the command returns data, the service is still running, the team said.

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