New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple: Most OS X Users Safe from 'Bash' Security Flaw, Software Update Coming Soon

terminalicon2 Yesterday, it was revealed that security researchers from Red Hat uncovered a major exploit in the "Bash" command shell found in OS X and Linux. Named "Shellshock" by security experts, the exploit allows hackers to gain access to web connected devices and services through the use of malicious code.

Now, an Apple spokesperson (via iMore) has commented on the matter, stating that the majority of OS X users are safe from the exploits and that the company is working to provide a software update for advanced UNIX users:
The vast majority of OS X users are not at risk to recently reported bash vulnerabilities," an Apple spokesperson told iMore. "Bash, a UNIX command shell and language included in OS X, has a weakness that could allow unauthorized users to remotely gain control of vulnerable systems. With OS X, systems are safe by default and not exposed to remote exploits of bash unless users configure advanced UNIX services. We are working to quickly provide a software update for our advanced UNIX users.
The exploit was called "as big as Heartbleed" by security researcher Robert Graham, who was referring to a flaw discovered in the popular open-source software OpenSSL that affected 66% of the Internet earlier this year. Apple eventually announced that Heartbleed did not affect its software or key services, and also released updates for AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule. It is likely that a fix for the Bash exploit will arrive relatively soon for users.


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

23 months ago

Might as well include this with the Yosemite update.


Even after Yosemite will be released prior major versions of OS X like Mavericks are still in active support, especially for security patches.

If you think that holding this sort of an update for 3-4 weeks when a patch is available is acceptable I think your expectations are a little low.

Update needs to be shipped asap. End of story.

Glassed Silver:mac
Rating: 16 Votes
23 months ago

I really hope they release an Update for Lion forwards. A lot of users on White MacBooks were prematurely left behind with Lion because Apple couldn't be bothered to rewrite the graphics driver.

Also there are a lot of people who won't want to update to Yosemite, so an update for 10.7,10.8,10.9 and 10.10 will hopefully ship :)



I'd rather they fix it for ML and Mav now.



And Lion!!!


All of you. Spare a thought for those loyal Mac users still running Snow Leopard.

I'm forced to keep my 2006 white, matte-screen iMac because Apple won't make anti-glare screen iMacs anymore. While the current iMacs have less glare, you can still use it as a mirror.
Rating: 11 Votes
23 months ago

Allowing remote access to bash is vulnerable by definition, it's not a bug but a feature.


Not necessarily; tcsh, ash, zsh, and ksh don't have this issue, and they are just as accessible remotely.


It doesn't look like dhcp is affected on OS X btw, you need a service that sets environment variables from user input.


IIRC, the DHCP server can set those, let alone run scripts as soon as it successfully allocates an IP address to a client. So if running as a server, it could possibly affect it. It definitely does in Linux. I haven't set up dhcp server on my MBA, nor do I intend to, but the situation could still exist, especially if someone rolls their own.

typical online media always blowing things out of proportion


I don't think you understand the magnitude of this vulnerability. EVERY version of Unix or unix-like operating system that uses bash is vulnerable: Linux, Solaris, OS X, Next, Ultrix, SunOS, OSF/1, AIX, HP/UX, NetBSD, FreeBSD, and Irix are all included. If you wanted to stretch it, Windows is also vulnerable through Cygwin. That sure as hell isn't the media blowing it out of proportion, especially if nearly every service a machine could run uses these as its underlying OS.

The magnitude of this is far more reaching than you realize.

BL.
Rating: 9 Votes
23 months ago

Everything now a days gets blown out of proportion. I remember all the y2k crap and it came and nothing happened.

The reason "nothing happened" is in no small part due to all the work that was done to prepare.
Rating: 8 Votes
23 months ago
wait

the sky isn't falling?
Rating: 7 Votes
23 months ago
Apple "Bashing"

This is just a media blitz against Apple.

I've used UNIX for over 30 years.

If you don't know what UNIX is, you're most likely not at risk at all.

If you like to tweak you OS with non-Apple configurations, you might be slightly at risk.

If you're a bonehead, you're at risk.

This is blown way out of proportion. Some poster say Apple needs to patch this immediately, B.S., 99.99999% of Apple users will never have an issue. However, if you are running Linux/Unix servers, you might want to watch this more closely.
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago
I really hope they release an Update for Lion forwards. A lot of users on White MacBooks were prematurely left behind with Lion because Apple couldn't be bothered to rewrite the graphics driver.

Also there are a lot of people who won't want to update to Yosemite, so an update for 10.7,10.8,10.9 and 10.10 will hopefully ship :)
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago

Connected to the big bad internet....

Its just a PR blurb, using a lot of big words and yet saying nothing. Damage control.

The quicker they roll out the patch, the sooner all the users can be safe.


Not damage control, but reporting the exact facts. 99.99% of MacOS X users have nothing to fear, because they are not running web servers on their Macs. And if you are running web servers, you don't wait for Apple press releases.

----------

So my computer is apparently vulnerable. Wonderful!


"Vulnerable" if you are running web servers on your computer that allow random people on the internet to access your computer. Are you?
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago

Allowing remote access to bash is vulnerable by definition, it's not a bug but a feature. It doesn't look like dhcp is affected on OS X btw, you need a service that sets environment variables from user input.


I am not sure you understand the nature of the problem. You don't have to allow direct remote access to bash. The shell can be invoked indirectly, say by the web server.

What this means is that virtually ALL unix web servers that rely on CGI scripts (quite a lot of them do) are vulnerable. This is a total disaster.

typical online media always blowing things out of proportion


The bendgate is blowing things out of proportion. The bash vulnerability is probably the most severe threat to security we have had so far in the history of internet.
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago

OS X Yosemite, last update, and no, I am not safe!


You may have a vulnerable version of bash, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're unsafe. Two things have to happen in order for someone to be able to exploit this problem:

1) Someone has to be able to supply unsantized input to the bash shell
2) The bash shell has to contain the vulnerability.

By running the test from the Terminal you're verifying the second part is true. What Apple is saying (and they seem to be correct on this) is that the first part isn't true for the vast majority of their users, so it's not remotely exploitable. You can try it because you have physical terminal access, but without some form of access to your system in the first place isn't not going to help an unauthorized user.

If someone has set up a web server (or other remote service) and utilized CGIs or other script that end up invoking bash than they may have a problem, but a normal use who has no clue what the significance of "#!/bin/sh" is has nothing to worry about.

Just because your system contains a vulnerability doesn't immediately make you unsafe; that's the merit of defense-in-depth. Just because the lock my wife's jewelry box is crap doesn't mean anyone can just walk in and steal her stuff; I still have a lock on my front door that works fine.

For those calling for Apple to patch the problem immediately keep in mind that there isn't currently an upstream patch that completely addresses the issue. A patch was issued yesterday for the bash source code that was found to be incomplete. As of this morning an official complete fix still isn't available from the package maintainer. Apple (along with many other vendors) may be waiting for a complete fix now that they've verified that the likelihood of a remote exploit is very low for their user base.
Rating: 5 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]