Security firm Secunia is reporting a new exploit in Mac OS X 10.3.4. The exploit is called "Apple Mac OS X Internet Connection Privilege Escalation," and basically allows local users to gain privileges on a Mac they shouldnit otherwise have. In other words, the exploit could allow a user with a non-admin account on a Mac, for instance in a school or business setting, to gain access to otherwise restricted parts of the Mac in question.
Secunia rates the exploit as "less critical," and offers a simple solution to the potential problem. From Secunia:
B-r00t has reported a vulnerability in Mac OS X, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to gain escalated privileges.
The problem is that "Internet Connect.app" creates the file "/tmp/ppp.log" in an insecure manner, which can be exploited via symlink attacks.
The vulnerability has been reported in Mac OS X 10.3.4 with "Internet Connect.app" version 1.3. Prior versions may also be affected.
Remove "Internet Connect.app" from systems with untrusted users if it isnit needed.
According to the description, the flaw is only exploitable by users who have physical access and an account on a local Mac. As such, it isnit likely to affect Mac users in trusted environments, for instance in a single user situation, a home, or any environment where all users have admin powers.
Secunia has reported a few Mac OS X security flaws in recent months (see: New "Serious" Security Flaw Found In OS X - May 18th, 2004, Exploit May Cause Safari To Toss Its Cookies - November 26th, 2003), and criticized Appleis initial response to the flaw reported in May. Todayis new vulnerability was reported to Secunia by someone going by the name iB-r00t,i and was not a product of Secuniais own research.
Apple spokespersons were not immediately available for comment on this story. You can find the alert at Secuniais Web site.