Security Experts:

Apple Fixes Numerous Vulnerabilities With Release of Mac OS X 10.9.5

Apple has released updates for several of its products and, in addition to new features and functionality fixes, the company has also addressed several security issues that expose users to cyberattacks.

With the release of Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 on Sept. 18, Apple has addressed more than 40 vulnerabilities affecting components such as PHP, Bluetooth, the CoreGraphics framework, the Intel graphics driver, the Foundation framework, IOKit, IOHIDFamily, IOAcceleratorFamily, the kernel, OpenSSL, QT Media Foundation and Ruby.

The flaws can lead to arbitrary code execution, information disclosure, application termination, privilege elevation, and bypass of kernel address space layout randomization. Andrea Micalizzi (rgod), s3tm3m, Fernando Munoz, Tom Gallagher, Paul Bates, Ian Beer of Google Project Zero, @PanguTeam, George Gal of VSR, and Felipe Andres Manzano of Binamuse VRT have been credited for finding and reporting the vulnerabilities.

In August, Apple informed application developers that they would have to re-sign their apps if they don't want them to be blocked by the company's Gatekeeper anti-malware feature. Apple suggested at the time that applications with version 1 signatures would be blocked after the release of OS X Mavericks 10.9.5. However, a developer has reported that apps signed with version 1 signatures still work.

"This was a classic case of Apple communicating far too poorly about a situation that purported to affect potentially every Mac developer. Many of us spent way too much time trying to decode and make sense of the situation when Apple could have done so for us through careful clarification of the specific code signatures that needed updating, how they could be reliably verified, and what the actual consequences of inaction would be," Daniel Jalkut of Indie Stack explained in a blog post.

Many of the security holes patched in OS X Mavericks are the same as the ones addressed by Apple with the release of iOS 8, in which the company also fixed some "backdoors" brought to light earlier this year by a forensics specialist.

In addition to OS X Mavericks, Apple released security updates for OS X Server, the Safari Web browser, Apple TV and the Xcode development platform.

In Safari, for example, the company addressed several WebKit vulnerabilities and an issue that could have been exploited by an attacker with a privileged position on the network to intercept user credentials. With the release of OS X Server versions 2.2.3 and 3.2.1, various CoreCollaboration issues have been addressed.


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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.