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'Month of Apple Bugs' begins with QuickTime exploit

“LMH” and Kevin Finisterre have begun the Month of Apple Bugs, a self-described initiative to “improve Mac OS X” by “finding security flaws in different Apple software and third-party applications designed for” Mac OS X. The initiative kicks off with a description of a flaw that affects QuickTime 7.1.3.

Tagged as “MOAB-01-01-2007,” it describes a vulnerability in QuickTime’s ability to handle Real Time Streaming Protocol (rtsp) hyperlinks.

“By supplying a specially crafted string (rtsp:// [random] + semicolon + [299 bytes padding + payload]), an attacker could overflow a stack-based buffer, using either HTML, Javascript or a QTL file as attack vector, leading to an exploitable remote arbitrary code execution condition,” said the programmers.

“Exploitation of this issue is trivial, and stack NX can be rendered useless via ret-to-libc,” they continued.

The problem reported affects QuickTime 7.1.3, the current shipping version on both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. The MOAB team offers instructions for how to reproduce the problem, and suggest that the only workaround for it is to disable the rtsp:// URL handler, uninstall QuickTime “or simply live with the feeling of being a potential target for pwnage.”

“Pwnage” is Internet slang for being badly beaten by an opponent; the term originated with gamers.

LMH is the pseudonym of an as-yet unidentified hacker, and Kevin Finisterre is founder of Digital Munition and a Mac user. Finisterre has been credited with the creation of the InqTana worm, a Java-based proof of concept worm that exploited a vulnerability in Bluetooth on some Macs, which first came to light in February, 2006.

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