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Intego Security Memo: QuickTime Bug Discovered, May Be Vector for Attack

September 2008 by Intego Security Alert

Exploit: OSX.Exploit.QT755-1

Discovered: September 18, 2008

Risk: Low

Description: Apple’s QuickTime, the media software used to play music and movies on Mac OS X and Windows, has recently been update to version 7.5.5, but a serious bug has already been discovered that may be used as a vector for malicious attacks.

The " <? quicktime type= ?> " tag fails to handle long strings, which can lead to a heap overflow in QuickTime Player, iTunes, or any other program that attempts to display media using a QuickTime plug-in. This can be a browser, such as Apple’s Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, or, on Mac OS X, could be any program that displays graphics or movies inline, such as Mail, or even the Finder if a user tries to view a file with Quick Look. For now, files which contain offending strings will crash programs attempting to display them, but malicious code could be added to such files, and may be executed with no user interaction, other than an attempt to view a file.

This bug can be remote or local, as QuickTime parses any supplied file for a recognized header even if the header does not correspond to the file type; for example, a malicious user could put XML content in an MP4 or MOV file, or could add a QuickTime media file to a web page which could then cause a browser to crash while executing malicious code.

Intego’s Virus Monitoring Center is keeping a close eye on this bug and whether malicious users are attempting to add payload to QuickTime files. Intego will naturally update the virus definitions for Intego VirusBarrier X5 if this occurs.

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