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Mac, Windows QuickTime Flaw Opens 'Month Of Apple Bugs'

The Month of Apple Bugs project kicked off Monday by posting a zero-day vulnerability in Apple's QuickTime media player. It also posted an exploit that could be used by attackers to compromise, hijack, or infect computers running either Windows or Mac OS X.

The Month of Apple Bugs (MoAB), which will announce a new security vulnerability in Apple's operating system or other Mac OS X software each day in January, is a follow-on to November's "Month of Kernel Bugs" campaign, and is co-hosted by that project's poster, a hacker who goes by the initials "LMH," and a partner, Kevin Finisterre, a researcher who has posted numerous Mac vulnerabilities and analyses on his own site.

The debut vulnerability is in QuickTime 7's parsing of RTSP (RealTime Streaming Protocol); the protocol is used to transmit streaming audio, video, and 3-D animation over the Web. Users duped into clicking on an overlong rtsp:// link could find their PCs or Macs compromised. It also may be possible to automatically trigger an attack simply by enticing users to a malicious Web site.

"Exploitation of this issue is trivial," said LMH in the vulnerability's write-up on the MoAB Web site. The associated exploit code has been tested on Mac OS X running on Intel-based systems, and works against QuickTime 7.1.3, the current version of the player, LMH and Finisterre said.

Other security researchers rang alarms Tuesday. Danish vulnerability tracker Secunia, for example, pegged the bug as "highly critical," the second-from-the-top threat in its five-step score, and Symantec alerted customers of its DeepSight threat network of the vulnerability.

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