iOS 6.1 Fixes 27 Vulnerabilities

20 remote code execution errors in the WebKit browser engine, a staple of Apple security updates, are fixed in the new release for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. Some of the bugs fixed are quite old, with one reported in 2011



iOS 6.1, an update to the operating system Apple released yesterday for iPhones, iPads ,and iPod Touches, contains 27 security vulnerability updates, 20 of them remote code execution bugs in the WebKit browser engine.

The vulnerability disclosure for the WebKit update attributes the bugs to "[m]ultiple memory corruption issues," which have been fixed. Thirteen of the 20 WebKit bugs were reported by "Abhishek Arya (Inferno) of the Google Chrome Security Team."

The WebKit browser engine is used in many popular Web browsers, including Safari, Google Chrome, and the new Web browser in BlackBerry 10. WebKit vulnerabilities are patched in different browsers on different schedules. One of the bugs fixed in iOS 6.1, CVE-2012-3606, was fixed in iTunes in September 2012.

Another of the bugs fixed in iOS 6.1, CVE-2011-3058, was originally reported in 2011 and fixed in Google Chrome in March 2012. CVE-2011-3058 allows a user-mode process to access the first page of kernel memory due to inadequate security checks.

iOS 6.1 also removes trust for the fake Google digital certificates mistakenly issued by the Turkish certificate authority ("TURKTRUST"). The remaining bugs could enable JavaScript without permission in Mobile Safari where it had been disabled; allow a remote attacker on the same Wi-Fi network to exploit a bug in Broadcom's BCM4325 and BCM4329 firmware to disable Wi-Fi temporarily; or allow a cross-site scripting attack.

In addition to the security updates, Apple described four feature updates in the iOS 6.1 release notes: expanded LTE support, movie ticket purchases through Siri, individual song downloads from iCloud for iTunes Match subscribers, and a new button to reset the Advertising Identifier. When Apple disabled the use of device UDIDs for ad tracking, it substituted a software-generated unique ID to replace it. The new button (in Settings > General > About > Advertising) resets the ID, clearing out the tracking.

The release notes refer the user to Apple's Security Updates page at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222, but as of this morning the iOS 6.1 updates are not listed there.

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