We received notice from Juergen Schmidt, editor-in-chief at heise.de, that a serious vulnerability has been found in Apple Safari on OS X. "In its default configuration shell commands are execute[d] simply by visting a web site - no user interaction required." This could be really bad. Attackers can run shell scripts on your computer remotely just by visiting a malicious website.
Full text of the article: http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/69862
Proof of concept from the original discoverer (Michael Lehn): http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/~lehn/mac.html
The problem is due to a feature that is activated by default: Open Safe Files after downloading. A zip file is considered safe and so they will be opened automatically. Subsequently, a shell script with no #! at the beginning of the script will be executed automatically. No user interaction!
Recommended action: disable the option "Open 'safe' files after downloading" in the "General" preferences section in Safari.
Feb 20th 2006
1 decade ago