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Apple Releases iOS Update to Address Security Issues

iOS 5.1.1 Update Addresses Security Issues on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Apple has released an update to its iOS platform that addresses three vulnerabilities that could be used by attackers to execute code, crash applications, or trigger XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) attacks. Of the three issues addressed, two of them reside within WebKit, and the other within Safari itself. Interestingly, one of the WebKit issues came to light after it was used during Google’s Pwnium contest.

iOS Security UpdateStarting with the CanSecWest discovery, Sergey Glazunov is credited with discovering two vulnerabilities in WebKit that could lead to a XSS attack. The flaws were exploited during Google's Pwnium contest, earning him a bug bounty of $60,000. The other WebKit related flaw, discovered by the Google Security Team, could lead to code execution or application crashes if exploited.

Finally, Apple patched a URL Spoofing issue in Safari, which could be used by a malicious domain to direct a user to a “spoofed site that visually appeared to be a legitimate domain. This issue is addressed through improved URL handling,” Apple explained.

The Safari patch does not apply to OS X. Version 5.1.1 of iOS is available for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 4S, iPod Touch (3rd Generation and up), iPad 2, and the iPad (a.k.a. iPad 3)

In addition to the security fixes, the latest iOS release also fixes bugs that could prevent the new iPad from switching between 2G and 3G networks and problems with AirPlay video playback.

More information from Apple is available here.

Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.