Apple Issues Network Time Protocol Security Fix for OS X Users

Apple today released a new security update that’s designed to address a "critical security issue" with the Network Time Protocol service on OS X. Apple recommends that all Yosemite, Mavericks, and Mountain Lion users install the update "as soon as possible."

applesecurityupdate
The update appears to address a problem that was highlighted by the U.S. Government on Friday, December 19 and originally discovered by the Google Security Team. The vulnerability has the potential to allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code using the privileges of the ntpd process.

Google Security Team researchers Neel Mehta and Stephen Roettger have coordinated multiple vulnerabilities with CERT/CC concerning the Network Time Protocol (NTP). As NTP is widely used within operational Industrial Control Systems deployments, NCCIC/ICS-CERT is providing this information for US Critical Infrastructure asset owners and operators for awareness and to identify mitigations for affected devices. ICS-CERT may release updates as additional information becomes available.

These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely. Exploits that target these vulnerabilities are publicly available.

Products using NTP service prior to NTP–4.2.8 are affected. No specific vendor is specified because this is an open source protocol.

Apple has faced several vulnerabilities over the course of 2014, most recently releasing an OS X bash update in September to fix the “Shellshock” security flaw. Today’s security update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Update: As noted by Reuters, this update marks the first time Apple has deployed an automatic security update, which can be installed without user authorization.

Top Rated Comments

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74 months ago

It's only 1.4MB (late 2013 iMac) so no problems whatsoever! :rolleyes:


1.4? I can install it using my floppy drive.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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74 months ago

You have to love the ingenuity / desperation of hackers. Instead of getting a job...


You have to love that in 2014 people still equate hacking to unemployment.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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74 months ago

You can install Yosemite on 7-year-old iMacs, hot shot.


Why would I do that? Snow Leopard works, and runs all my software properly. Later OSs add nothing of value to me, and, judging by comments on this board, causes problems that i don't currently have.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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74 months ago

Is Snow Leopard impacted?


Yes it is, but apparently Apple no longer cares about the security of their Snow Leopard and Lion customers. You either upgrade your perfectly good software (if you can) or you're on your own.

Well, you could just buy a new Mac, which is what Apple wants you to do anyway.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 months ago
Personally I find it inexcusable that apparently serious security bugs are not being patched in Snow Leopard/Lion. If people are suggesting you can compile it yourself with developer tools… doesn't that just prove Apple is putting some of its less advanced users at risk purely to try and sell them newer computers? I think it's fairly heinous behaviour if so.

As I've said numerous times before, no-one should expect eternal updates in terms of new features etc - that's what new versions of the OS are for, and what should attract users to upgrade. Of course it's unreasonable to expect Apple to develop new features for old OS versions that a few versions old.

However, when bad security vulnerabilities / flaws are discovered that apparently wouldn't take very much effort for Apple to patch, I think it's unconscionable to not provide security patches for machines that are otherwise still perfectly usable today other than having software Apple can't be bothered to support in the very slightest, narrow way. Apart from anything else, we know compromised machines are bad for everyone on the internet.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 months ago

You can install Yosemite on 7-year-old iMacs, hot shot.


Are you aware that Software Support isn't the same as Hardware Support?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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