Apple fixes year-old QuickTime flaw

Takes second hack at Windows-only bug after researcher blows the whistle

Apple updated the Windows version of QuickTime today to quash a 13-month-old bug that critics say it overlooked when it patched the media player in March.

The update fixes a flaw in QuickTime for Windows XP and Vista first reported in September 2006 by UK researcher Petko Petkov. Last month, Petkov posted proof-of-concept code for the vulnerability after claiming Apple had not acknowledged his messages. Several samples posted to the Web leveraged both the QuickTime bug and one in the open-source Firefox browser to create a drive-by attack capable of invisibly hijacking a PC.

Mozilla patched Firefox six days later. Although Mozilla's chief of security, Window Snyder, admitted her group had overlooked the flaw when it crafted a July fix for a similar problem, she also took a shot at Apple. "This QuickTime issue appears to be the one described by CVE-2006-4965 but the fix Apple applied in QuickTime 7.1.5 does not prevent this version of the problem," Snyder said in September.

Apple disagreed with that assessment, for today it pegged the vulnerability as a different bug by designating it CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure) 2007-4673. It acknowledged the bug, however. "A command injection issue exists in QuickTime's handling of URLs in the 'qtnext' field in QTL files," read its advisory. "By enticing a user to open a specially crafted QTL file, an attacker may cause an application to be launched with controlled command line arguments, which may lead to arbitrary code execution."

According to Apple, the vulnerability does not exist in the Mac OS X version of QuickTime.

Apple first took a swing at the flaw back in March, two months after researcher Avi Raff expanded on Petkov's work to create an exploit as part of January's "Month of Apple Bugs" project.

The patched QuickTime can be downloaded from Apple's site, or by using the optional Software Update utility packaged with the Windows versions of the player and Apple's iTunes music store. It is approximately 7MB in size and requires a restart of Windows.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?