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iDefense Security Advisory 11.14.07: Apple Mac OS X AppleTalk Socket IOCTL Kernel Stack Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
iDefense Security Advisory 11.14.07
Nov 14, 2007
AppleTalk, a set of networking protocols developed by Apple, was
originally implemented on early Mac operating systems. Although it is a
legacy protocol, it is still supported on the latest version of Mac OS
X. AppleTalk is compiled into the default kernel, but must be turned on
in order to be used. More information can be found at the following URL.
Local exploitation of a stack based buffer overflow in Apple Inc.'s OS X
may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in kernel context.
The vulnerability exists within the function responsible for adding an
AppleTalk zone to an interface's routing table. A zone can be thought
of as something similar to a Windows Domain.
When copying the user provided zone information into a fixed size stack
buffer, the kernel uses a user provided length as the number of bytes
to copy into the destination buffer. This results in an exploitable
stack buffer overflow in the kernel.
Successful exploitation of this vulnerability will result in the
execution of arbitrary code in kernel context. Unsuccessful attempts
will likely crash the system.
In order to exploit this vulnerability, the system needs to have
AppleTalk configured in routing mode. This is not enabled by default.
It would likely be enabled on a Mac system running on a network with
legacy Mac hosts.
iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in Mac OS X
10.4.10, Workstation and Server editions. Previous versions may also be
To determine if AppleTalk is running, the following command can be
executed on the command line.
$ appletalk -s
Disabling AppleTalk will prevent exploitation of this vulnerability.
Executing the following command will disable AppleTalk if it is
# appletalk -d
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
Apple addressed this vulnerability within their Mac OS X 2007-008
security update. More information is available at the following URL.
VII. CVE INFORMATION
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2007-4267 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
08/08/2007 Initial vendor notification
08/09/2007 Initial vendor response
11/14/2007 Coordinated public disclosure
The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.
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X. LEGAL NOTICES
Copyright © 2007 iDefense, Inc.
Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically,
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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct,
indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or
reliance on, this information.