Mac OS vulnerability ‘no real concern’
In a world dominated by security flaws in Microsoft’s Windows, the latest Mac OS X vulnerability has been described as no real concern.
Symantec is warning of a possible exploit that could affect computers running Mac OS X. The companies Web site states: “An attacker may leverage this issue to cause a system-wide denial of service or to gain escalated privileges on an affected computer, potentially leading to unauthorized superuser access.”
However to stage such an attack it is necessary that an attacker has local access to the target computer. Therefore it is very unlikely that it would be propagated over the Internet or a network.
To calm any concerns, Symantec senior manager Oliver Friedrichs told eWeek: “This is not something that can turn into a worm or a widespread threat.”
He also pointed out that Mac OS X does not allow hidden accounts on a computer.
“The only real use for this exploit would be for a regular user to elevate his access to administrator or superuser,” he explained.
He added: “This type of vulnerability has been seen in Unix environments for decades. Individual vulnerabilities like this, because of the quantity of source code, tend to creep in.”
Despite the unlikelihood of attack, Symantec still rates the severity of the flaw as 6.9 out of 10.