Apple Planning Fix for OS X SSL Bug as New Research Reveals iMessage, Other Apps Affected

Apple has confirmed that it will issue a software update “very soon” to patch the security flawfound in OS X that allows attackers to capture or modify data protected by the SSL/TLS protocols in Safari, reports Reuters. The vulnerability of OS X to the bug was detailed by security firm CrowdStrike and a Google engineer last Friday, and came right after Apple released iOS 7.0.6 to fix the SSL-related issues on iOS.

However, the security flaw, which has been termed “GoToFail” by security specialists due to the improperly used “goto” command that triggers it, may be affecting more than just Safari. Independent privacy researcher Ashkan Soltani has pointed out on his Twitter (via Forbes) that Apple’s vulnerable SSL library is also used by apps including FaceTime, iMessage, Twitter, Calendar, Keynote, Mail, iBooks, Software Update, and more.

gotofail_list_of_apps

A list of apps deemed vulnerable to the SSL bug found in OS X and iOS by security researcher Ashkan Soltani

Soltani does point out that apps such as iMessage and FaceTime have addded security measures that weaken the effects of the security flaw, but also added that the initial iCloud login used to authenticate such apps may also be compromised. The researcher states that other parts of the protocol such as the handshake between a service and a device are vulnerable to an attack as well, and will need to be secured by Apple.

Currently, users can check whether or not their computers are affected by the vulnerability by visiting gotofail.com in Safari. As users wait for a fix to the flaw, CrowdStrike recommends avoiding untrusted and unsecured WiFi networks while traveling. The site also recommends that users update to iOS 7.0.6 if they have not yet installed it on their iOS devices.

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