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Apple Updates OS X to Protect Users Against POODLE Attacks

Security updates released by Apple last week address a series of vulnerabilities, including the recently uncovered SSL 3.0 flaw (CVE-2014-3566) that can be leveraged to obtain potentially sensitive information from encrypted communications.

Security updates released by Apple last week address a series of vulnerabilities, including the recently uncovered SSL 3.0 flaw (CVE-2014-3566) that can be leveraged to obtain potentially sensitive information from encrypted communications.

The attack against SSL 3.0, dubbed Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (POODLE), was described last week by Google researchers. To ensure that its customers are protected against such attacks, Apple released security updates for OS X Mavericks and Mountain Lion. OS X Yosemite 10.10, the version of the operating system launched on October 16, also includes the fix.

“There are known attacks on the confidentiality of SSL 3.0 when a cipher suite uses a block cipher in CBC mode. An attacker could force the use of SSL 3.0, even when the server would support a better TLS version, by blocking TLS 1.0 and higher connection attempts. This issue was addressed by disabling CBC cipher suites when TLS connection attempts fail,” Apple wrote in its advisory.

 OS X Server users can protect themselves against POODLE attacks by updating to versions 2.2.5 and 3.2.2 in which SSL 3.0 support in Web Server, Calendar and Contacts Server, and Remote Administration has been disabled. OS X Server 4.0, which has been introduced alongside Yosemite, includes security fixes for the SSL 3.0 issue and several other flaws affecting BIND, Core Collaboration, the profile manager, and the Mail service.

As far as OS X Yosemite is concerned, more than 40 vulnerabilities have been fixed in components such as the AFP file server, the application sandbox, Bluetooth, IOKit, IOHIDFamily, IOAcceleratorFamily, the kernel, mail, QuickTime and Safari.

The operating system updates released by Apple last week also include the fix for the GNU Bash vulnerability known as ShellShock. The Bash flaw was initially patched by Apple with a standalone fix.

Apple has also released a new version of iTunes. iTunes 12.0.1 contains fixes for a total of 83 memory corruption issues in WebKit identified by various experts this year and in 2013. According to the company, exploitation of the vulnerabilities could lead to unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

Written By

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.

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