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Apple fixes Mac OS X security flaws

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March 23, 2005

Apple just released a dozen security fixes for problems in its Mac OS X operating system, including a script for preventing phishers from confusing users of its Safari Internet browser.

The script, released Monday, tackles a pernicious phishing problem in browsers. The loophole could allow an attacker to use certain characters from different languages to create legitimate-looking Web addresses that actually send victims to malicious Web sites. The security problem affected all browsers that supported Internationalized Domain Names, or IDN, and is not Apple-specific.

Other browsers affected by the IDN security issue include the Mozilla Foundation's Mozilla and Firefox, and Opera. Both Mozilla and Opera Software have issued fixes for the problem. Microsoft's Internet Explorer does not support IDN, so it is not vulnerable to such attacks. However, plug-ins that add IDN functionality to Internet Explorer do put it at risk.

The newly released patches take care of flaws in the Apple Filing Protocol server and the Samba filing-sharing server, as well as multiple issues with the Cyrus authentication software, Mailman, SquirrelMail and Cyrus mail software.

The patches can be downloaded from Apple's Web site or automatically installed via Apple's Software Update tool.

Apple has moved to a regular release schedule, publishing fixes every month. The first major company to embrace a monthly patch process was Microsoft, and database maker Oracle has also moved to regular releases, but on a quarterly basis.

Source: C-Net News

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