Apple Safari / QuickTime Denial Of Service

Type packetstorm
Reporter Thierry Zoller
Modified 2009-06-15T00:00:00


Apple Safari & Quicktime Denial of Service  
Shameless plug :  
You are invited to join the 2009 edition of HACK.LU, a small but   
concentrated luxemburgish security conference.   
More information : - CFP is open, sponsorship is still   
possible and warmly welcomed.  
Release mode: Coordinated  
Ref : [TZO-36-2009] - Apple Safari & Quicktime DoS  
Vendor :  
WWW :  
Status : Not patched  
Credit : none given (Apple can't find a place to credit)  
Discovered : 18.11.2008 Zoller, 19.06.2009 Alexios Fakos (probably plenty  
of others)  
Security notification reaction rating : good  
Notification to patch window : n+1   
Disclosure Policy :  
Affected products   
- Apple Safari (all)  
- Quicktime (all)  
I. Background  
Wikipedia quote: "Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is an American multinational   
corporation which designs and manufactures consumer electronics and   
software products. The company's best-known hardware products include   
Macintosh computers, the iPod and the iPhone."  
II. Description  
A null pointer is being dereference when CFRelease() is called on NULL.  
III. Impact  
The browser will crash, your data might be lost.  
IV. Proof of concept (hold your breath)  
<video src=%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n%n>Video</video>  
V. Disclosure timeline  
18/11/2008 : Send proof of concept file and a description that failed to  
give the correct impact.  
25/11/2009 : Apple acknowledges receipt and reproducability :   
"After investigating this issue further, we've determined   
that the crash your test case triggers is caused by  
dereferencing a null pointer and not from a format string issue"  
20/01/2009 : Ask for an update   
23/01/2009 : Apple sends an encrypted and signed PGP mail, fine, however the mail  
is encrypted with their own key  
23/01/2009 : Ask for the mail to be resend as I don't have Apple's private key  
24/01/2009 : Apple states that "Regarding the QuickTime null dereference you   
reported, this bug is still being worked on by our engineers   
and is not addressed in QuickTime 7.6"  
26/01/2009 : Ask apple for a fix timeline as this is an ridiculouly easy to fix  
27/01/2009 : Apple statest "Regarding the QuickTime null deref issue, it is   
currently set to be part of the next QuickTime update. [..]   
Additionally, we do not intend to describe this crasher in our  
security advisory.  
Note: No Security advisory = no credit, should have published here.  
28/01/2009: Apple states "Given that we are handling this as a crasher and   
not as a security exposure, it stands to reason that you may   
want to disclose it without waiting for the update that  
addresses it and without further coordination with Apple.  
We do appreciate the fact that you reported it to us and are  
intending to address it in the next available update"  
[Several discussion about CIA, why a DoS against the iPhone is worth a security  
advisory, when it isn't against safari.. etc. I spare you the details]   
29/01/2009 : Ask why I should hold disclosure for a DoS in a particular  
portable apple product but disclose DoS in other apple products.  
Asked apple to make a choice, either DoS is a security issue and  
I won't disclose or it isn't and I disclose all of them,  
including the one in the very portable apple product  
30/01/2009 : Apple answers that  
"Your QuickTime and Safari issues constitute denial of service.  
We consider any denial of service issue to be security related,  
and they are important to fix. We plan to fix the ones you  
reported in the next available updates."  
"I believe we can put credit in an appropriate place for the  
WebKit/Safari change. I was not able to locate a suitable place  
for crediting the QuickTime crasher"  
Fast forward 5 months, and apple releases a stream of code execution bug fixes  
for Quicktime.  
01/06/2009 : Ask for an update and if the DoS condition has been fixed  
02/06/2009 : Apple states that   
"According to our bug tracking system the null-dereference crasher  
issue is not yet addressed in QuickTime. We are investigating  
now to see if for some reason the latest version has picked up  
changes that address this issue and will send you feedback  
today about it."  
In summary, no credit, no advisory, and 7 months of time to (not) fix a  
single line of code.  
10/06/2009 : Release of this advisory