It's nearly 2017 and JPEGs, PDFs, font files can hijack your Apple Mac, iPhone, iPad

Get patching now


Apple has distributed a fresh round of security updates to address remote-code execution holes in iOS, macOS, Safari, and the firmware for Apple Watch and AppleTV.

Miscreants who exploit these flaws can take over the vulnerable device – all a victim has to do is open a JPEG or PDF file booby-trapped with malicious code, so get patching before you're caught out.

The fixes come just days before the Cupertino developer of TextEdit is set to hold a special event to introduce a (presumed) refresh of its Mac product line and potentially new iPad tablets.

For those running iOS, the 10.1 release includes updates to address 12 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in the firmware for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Those flaws include a remote code execution flaw in the handling of JPEG images (CVE-2016-4673), a remote code execution bug in WebKit (CVE-2016-4677), local code execution flaws, and a vulnerability in contacts (CVE-2016-4686) that would let an application pull Address Book details even when access has been revoked.

For macOS Sierra (10.12.1), the update brings fixes for 16 CVE-listed vulnerabilities. Those include the CVE-2016-4673 image-handling bug as well as remote code execution flaws that could be triggered by font files (CVE-2016-4667) and PDF files (CVE-2016-4671). Also released was a fix for a denial of service error in Nvidia graphics card drivers (CVE-2016-4663) and a bug that exposed the length of user passwords (CVE-2016-4670).

Included among the latest fixes for iOS and macOS was CVE-2016-4635, a remote audio eavesdropping vulnerability for FaceTime that Apple had previously attempted to remedy in older versions of iOS and OS X.

Apple did not say whether the flaw was exposed in iOS 10.1 and macOS Sierra, or if the fix was an update to an already-installed security measure.

For those running the Safari browser on Sierra and older versions of OS X, Apple has produced patches to address a trio of WebKit flaws that can allow web pages or applications to achieve remote code execution (CVE-2016-4666, CVE-2016-4677) and pull location information (CVE-2016-4676).

Meanwhile, Apple Watch users are advised to update their arm candy to watchOS 3.1 to get fixes for eight CVE-listed flaws, including two flaws in sandbox profiles (CVE-2016-4664, CVE-2016-4665) that allow third-party applications to view image libraries and sound files without permission.

The AppleTV will also get an update for 10 flaws, including the sandbox profiles flaws (CVE-2016-4664, CVE-2016-4665), the WebKit remote code execution bug (CVE-2016-4677), and the CoreGraphics JPEG bug (CVE-2016-4673) patched in other Apple products. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022