Researcher finds a mitt full of Mac bugs

The code could be used to crash applications or run unauthorised code on the Mac

A security researcher has posted code that exploits a number of newly discovered and unpatched bugs in the Mac OS X platform.

The software, posted by independent researcher Tom Ferris, could be used to crash applications or even run unauthorised code on the Mac by taking advantage of bugs in the Safari browser and Mac OS X operating system. Ferris's "proof of concept" code exploits a total of seven bugs.

Apple Computer has already been made aware of the bugs and plans to fix them in "the next security release," Ferris says in a posting to his Security-protocols.com blog.

"There [seem] to be some problems with the claimed solid-as-a-rock Unix OS," he writes on his blog. "Getting Safari to crash in many different spots is trivial, as where Firefox is very tough."

Long considered to be more secure than Microsoft's Windows operating system, Mac OS X has increasingly been the focus of security researchers like Ferris. In February a number of malicious programs, including one called OSX/Leap, were released targeting the Macintosh.

The SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center rated Ferris's bugs as "highly critical," and warned that there are no patches or workarounds available for the majority of these vulnerabilities.

Ferris made headlines earlier this year when he discovered a bug in the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 preview browser within minutes of the product being released.

Apple representatives were not immediately available to comment for this story.

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