The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
MacNewsWorld Interviews Discoverer of OS X Browser Flaw

MacNewsWorld Interviews Discoverer of OS X Browser Flaw

by , 8:00 AM EDT, May 20th, 2004

MacNewsWorld has posted an interview with the discoverer of the recently publicized OS X browser flaw. According to the discoverer of the flaw, "lixlpixel," Apple was informed of the flaw back in February 2004, but has done nothing about it as of yet. After waiting for two months, he says he decided to post information about the flaw to a Swiss Web site, which was then picked up by security firm Secunia. From MacNewsWorld:

In an exclusive interview Wednesday, lixlpixel told MacNewsWorld that, after waiting on Apple's reply, he finally posted the advisory to a Swiss Macintosh Web site.

"This is how Secunia picked up on the vulnerability," lixlpixel said, adding he had not contacted Secunia directly.

"Just by the nature of the Internet, this post took off," he continued.

"I was building a site where PHP and AppleScript work together to achieve what I wanted. That's when I discovered that you could start applications on the Mac via [a] URL," lixlpixel said.

"Of course that's no big deal, but then I realized that if you knew the location of the downloaded program on the user's machine, it gets more dangerous. That's why I notified Apple."

You can read the full article at MacNewsWorld's Web site, and we recommend it as a very interesting article.

The Mac Observer Spin:

A number of Observers had questions about how and why this flaw was made public, and this interview answers most of those questions.

More importantly, we are concerned about Apple's alleged lack of response to lixlpixel, though we obviously don't know Apple's side of things. If true, however, it brings up ugly comparisons to Microsoft, a company long known for ignoring similar security notifications until public pressure and the massive Windows virus/worm problem forced the company to pay attention.

Certainly Apple's record is far, far better than Microsoft's, but it may take a bit of public pressure from the Mac installed-base to keep it that way.

Recent Headlines - Updated February 1st

Sat,5:13 PM
Higher Res Video of China Apple Store Artists with English Subtitles
10:30 AM
iPhoneography 101: 2 iPhone Remotes You Gotta Have
Fri,5:40 PM
The Unofficial Apple Weblog Will Shut Down February 3rd
5:18 PM
Peri Duo Case for iPhone Marries Speaker, Battery, and Wi-Fi Audio
4:50 PM
Repatriation Tax Bill Holds Promise, but Faces Uphill Battle
4:32 PM
Microsoft Brings Outlook to iPhone and iPad
2:51 PM
Enter to Win a Pair of Wireless Beats Studio Headphones
1:09 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-30: Samsung’s Smartphone Numbers, Congress Wants More Corporate Cash
11:09 AM
FiftyThree’s Pencil Stylus for iPad goes Gold
9:48 AM
How to Enable the iTunes Notification Center Widget in OS X Yosemite
9:05 AM
iTunes gets OS X Yosemite Notification Widget
Thu,6:59 PM
Apple Tied Samsung for Global Smartphone Units in Q4
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!