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September 18th, 2008

QuickTime Crashing Zero-day Attack Code Published, Malicious Code Execution Possible

According to Aaron Adams, a Symantec Corp.’s DeepSight threat notification network researcher, new attack code that exploits an unpatched vulnerability in Apple Inc.’s QuickTime was published on in Tuesday, just a week after the company updated the media player to plug nine other serious vulnerabilities.

The exploit takes advantage of a flaw in the “<? quicktime type= ?>” parameter in QuickTime, which is not prepared to handle excessively-long strings. In its present form, the exploit triggers a QuickTime crash, but it may be more serious. The exploit suggests that code execution may be possible and if this flaw were to allow arbitrary code to run, it may pose a significant risk, because attackers may be able to exploit the issue by embedding a malicious file into a site.

The anonymous hacker who posted the attack code was just as uncertain as Symantec of the exploit’s power. “Code execution may be possible,” the entry read.

“Symantec is currently investigating this flaw further to determine the underlying technical details,” said Adams in a research note today.

Last week, Apple updated QuickTime to 7.5.5 to patch nine other vulnerabilities, eight of which were tagged with the “arbitrary code execution” phrase that Apple uses to describe the most serious threats.

Users should be aware while browsing websites, even trusted ones, and should consider disabling the QuickTime plug-in, which is commonly found on Windows machines and installed by default on all Macs.

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More on CyberInsecure:
  • Apple QuickTime Multiple Remote Vulnerabilities
  • Code Execution Flaws Patched In Apple QuickTime 7.6
  • Apple Patches Security Vulnerabilities In QuickTime 7.6.2
  • Critical Flaws Patched By Apple in QuickTime 7.5 Update
  • Apple Patches Serious Security Flaws In QuickTime 7.5.5

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