iOS 6.1 Patches a Hoard of Security Holes

Numerous vulnerabilities fixed in the latest iOS release from Apple

The latest iOS update from Apple fixes over two dozen vulnerabilities in the mobile operating system powering iPhones and iPads worldwide. Most bugs were found in WebKit, Apple’s open source web browser engine.

Affecting all iPhones, iPads and iPod touch players that support iOS 6, multiple memory corruption issues existed in WebKit paving the way for “unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution” should the user visit a maliciously crafted website.

A total of 20 flaws were found related to this vulnerability. Apple addressed them all by improving memory handling in WebKit.

An even more serious bug is listed under “Security.” Affecting the same iDevice models as enumerated above, the flaw would allow an attacker with a privileged network position to “intercept user credentials or other sensitive information.”

The cause of this vulnerability is described in Apple’s advisory as follows:

“Several intermediate CA certificates were mistakenly issued by TURKTRUST. This may allow a man-in-the-middle attacker to redirect connections and intercept user credentials or other sensitive information.”

Apple addressed the issue by not allowing the incorrect SSL certificates.

The advisory further reveals that JavaScript could be enabled in Mobile Safari without user interaction, prior to iOS 6.1.

“If a user disabled JavaScript in Safari Preferences, visiting a site which displayed a Smart App Banner would re-enable JavaScript without warning the user,” Apple explains.

“This issue was addressed by not enabling JavaScript when visiting a site with a Smart App Banner,” the company adds.

The Cupertino giant credits Andrew Plotkin of Zarfhome Software Consulting, Ben Madison of BitCloud, and Marek Durcek for discovering and reporting this particular flaw.

iOS 6.1 is available as a free software update (either through iTunes or OTA) on all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models that support iOS 6.

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