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Apple Updates Xcode to Patch Git Vulnerabilities

Apple released an update for its Xcode integrated development environment this week to address a couple of serious vulnerabilities in the Git version control system.

The issues in question, tracked as CVE-2016-2324 and CVE-2016‑2315, are server and client-side remote code execution vulnerabilities affecting version 2.7.3 and earlier of Git. The flaws, which can be exploited by pushing or cloning a repository with a large filename or a large number of nested trees, were patched in mid-March with the release of Git 2.7.4.

However, on April 17, Facebook production engineer Rachel Kroll warned that when users installed Xcode or the command line developer tools on Apple’s OS X El Capitan operating system they got Git 2.6.4, which had been released in December. Kroll noted at the time that there was no way for users to manually update Git.

“If you rely on machines like this, I am truly sorry. I feel for you. I wrote this post in an attempt to goad them into action because this is affecting lots of people who are important to me. They are basically screwed until Apple deigns to deliver a patched git unto them,” Kroll said.

Apple addressed the issue this week by updating Git to version 2.7.4 in Xcode 7.3.1 available for El Capitan 10.11 and later.

Xcode was targeted last year by malicious actors who modified the development platform and offered it on third-party websites in China. All iOS and OS X apps created with the altered version of Xcode were injected with malicious code that allowed attackers to collect information from devices and open arbitrary websites.

The malware, dubbed XcodeGhost, reportedly made it into thousands of iOS applications, including ones available for download on the Apple App Store.

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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.