Apple Leaves Users Vulnerable By Not Fixing iOS and OS X Security Issues Simultaneously

Notable computer security researcher Kristin Paget, who worked on Apple's security team before leaving for Tesla in early 2014, has taken to her blog (via Ars Technica) to criticize Apple for fixing more than a dozen security flaws in iOS weeks after patching them in OS X.

mavericksios7
iOS 7.1.1, released yesterday, patched multiple WebKit vulnerabilities that were initially fixed in OS X with the release of Safari 7.0.3 on April 1. The delay between fixes, says Paget, alerted hackers to serious flaws potentially exploitable on Apple's mobile operating system and then gave hackers ample time to exploit the vulnerabilities.

Is this how you do business? Drop a patch for one product that quite literally lists out, in order, the security vulnerabilities in your platform, and then fail to patch those weaknesses on your other range of products for weeks afterwards? You really don't see anything wrong with this?

Someone tell me I'm not crazy here. Apple preaches the virtues of having the same kernel (and a bunch of other operating system goop) shared between two platforms – but then only patches those platforms one at a time, leaving the entire userbase of the other platform exposed to known security vulnerabilities for weeks at a time?

Addressing Apple, Paget goes on to write that Apple needs to sit in front of a chalkboard and write out "I will not use iOS to drop 0day on OSX, nor use OSX to drop 0day on iOS."

In addition to the WebKit vulnerabilities that were patched out of sync, Apple also recently exposed a major OS X flaw when patching the same flaw in iOS. Back in February, with the release of iOS 7.0.6, a major SSL connection verification vulnerability came to light. Known as the "goto fail" bug, it left iOS and OS X users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks where hackers could pose as a trusted website to intercept communications or acquire sensitive information.

Apple launched iOS 7.0.6 on a Friday, fixing the vulnerability on iOS but leaving OS X users vulnerable to attack until the following Tuesday, when it released OS X 10.9.2 to patch the security flaw.

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
maxresdefault

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro

Saturday July 13, 2024 8:00 am PDT by
Samsung this week introduced its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds3 Pro, which look quite a bit like Apple's AirPods Pro 2. Given the similarities, we thought we'd compare Samsung's new earbuds to the AirPods Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, you could potentially mistake Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro for the AirPods Pro. The Buds3 Pro have the same...
primeday2020 feature3

The Best Early Prime Day Deals on Apple Products

Saturday July 13, 2024 6:23 am PDT by
Amazon is soon to be back with its annual summertime Prime Day event, lasting for just two days from July 16-17. As it does every year, Prime Day offers shoppers a huge selection of deals across Amazon's storefront, and there are already many deals you can get on sale ahead of the event. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...

Top Rated Comments

arn Avatar
134 months ago
I would rather them push out updates as soon as they are ready. Not wait for the other OS to catchup.

You have a critical security bug on your iPhone.

Option 1: Apple tells the world about the security bug, and how to exploit it, but doesn't fix it for 1-3 weeks.

Option 2: Apple tells the world about the security bug at the moment they fix it.

Which would you prefer? Right now Apple's doing option #1.

arn
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
134 months ago
No company is perfect, and honestly, they're all pretty much the same.
I don't think you read the article.

Did iOS 7.1.1 and the recent Lion/ML/Mavericks Security Updates fix the same security issues? They both dropped yesterday, so maybe they've learnt their lesson.
I don't think you read the article.

arn
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMerik Avatar
134 months ago
I would rather them push out updates as soon as they are ready. Not wait for the other OS to catch up.
But not if the one patch alerts baddies to the same unpatched vulnerability on the other platform, creating a 0day for your other platform.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdridwan47 Avatar
134 months ago
Dammit Apple!

Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
christarp Avatar
134 months ago
Apple should also start building cars that explode on impact. Oh wait...

What a terrible attempt at trolling.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Razeus Avatar
134 months ago
I'm still of the belief that Apple simply doesn't have enough software people to do all the things they need to do. Hence why it takes them so long to fix stuff. Well, at least not in a way that will affect their margins.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)