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7/11/2008
02:30 PM
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Apple's Bungled iPhone 2.0 Software Update Comes With 13 Security Fixes

iPhone users who manage to update their phones should be more secure from potential threats.

Apple's new iPhone software, released on Friday, addresses 13 security vulnerabilities, though the update couldn't protect users from Apple's poor planning.

Across the Web, otherwise supportive Apple customers trashed the company for delivering the wrong kind of security -- inoperable iPhones, the result of Apple iTunes update validation problems.

"My phone is dead," lamented marketer S. Neil Vineberg in his blog. "A brick. And you'd think that Apple would have had [its] act together after promoting this launch date for a month."

Gizmodo writer Mark Wilson dubbed the fiasco "the iPocalypse."

Nonetheless, once Apple gets its servers running again and the latte-fueled fury dies down, iPhone users who manage to update their phones should be more secure from potential threats.

The update includes fixes to the following operating system components: CFNetwork (1), Kernel (1), Safari (8), and WebKit (3). The various vulnerabilities, if exploited, could allow for the spoofing of secure Web sites, disclosure of sensitive information, cross-site scripting, denial of service, application crashing, and arbitrary code execution.

Security researchers have been predicting the emergence of iPhone malware for months. In January, US-CERT warned of the emergence of Trojan software purporting to aid in the installation of Apple's iPhone 1.1.3 software update. But the iPhone has yet to be affected by significant device security issues.

At the same time, user-related security issues, such as entering information at a phishing site, are not necessarily mitigated by closing software holes.

Apple on Thursday issued a security update for Apple TV, the company's home media server. The Apple TV 2.1 update includes six fixes to defend against maliciously crafted media files. Apple TV also continues to benefit from security through obscurity, though Apple might wish it were otherwise.

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