The code, which has appeared on the "milw0rm" site, exploits a bug that Apple Computer identified within the operating system's kernel. According to the security update advisory Apple released Friday, the flaw is in a kernel error-handing mechanism known as "Mach exception ports" that controls programs when certain types of errors are generated.
A successful exploit, Apple said then, could let an attacker introduce his own code to an unpatched Mac running OS 10.4.1 though 10.4.7.
"The exploit payload executes /usr/bin/id, and as such would need to be replaced with a more useful payload to be used effectively," noted Symantec in an alert to customers of its DeepSight threat system.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.