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Security Response

New Technologies from Apple

Created: 11 Jun 2007 07:00:00 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:48:51 GMT
Eric Chien's picture
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Apple announced a variety of new technologies today at Apple'sWorldwide Developers Conference. A couple of interesting technologiesincluded the confirmation of third party applications on the iPhone andthe availability of the Safari web browser on Microsoft Windows.

In a previous blog article,we discussed how limiting third party applications on the iPhone wouldcurtail any malicious applications for the iPhone. Opening up theiPhone to third party applications now raises the risk of maliciousapplications for the mobile device. However, the ability to writemalicious applications for the iPhone still remains to be seen as thedevil is in the details.

According to the demonstration, applications will be written inJavaScript and executed within Safari. The applications will haveaccess to internal phone applications including the ability to makephone calls, load the address book, and load Google maps. Details onhow much access these applications have, if they need to be signed, andhow they will be distributed will likely be released in the comingdays, and we are going to get an iPhone to play around with todetermine what can and can't be done by a third party application.

In addition to the developments on the iPhone, Steve Jobs announcedthe availability of Safari on Windows. Web browsers have been a primevector of infection over the last year through Internet Explorervulnerabilities or social engineering links to malicious executables.Many of these infections are delivered through exploit toolkits such asMpack and WebAttacker.With Safari now being available on Windows, we suspect newvulnerabilities and exploits geared towards Safari will follow ifSafari achieves a sizeable marketshare.