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07.11.2003, 07:28
Remote Access Vulnerability
in Apple Macintosh OS 10.3
Severity: Indeterminate
6 November 2003

Apple recently announced that there is a vulnerability in their implementation of remote access services in Mac OS 10.3. They provided no other details regarding the scope of the vulnerability or its impact. Patches to Mac OS 10.3 are currently available to the public. Administrators of Macintosh computers running the affected software should download, test, and install the patch as soon as is practical.

With OS 10, Apple switched the core of its operating system to Unix. As part of this switch, they implemented terminal services on the Macintosh, which enable remote management of a Macintosh and allow a user to run advanced command line tools locally.

Remote access services are enabled by default and secured with Secure Shell (SSH), a common UNIX application which provides encrypted remote access to a system. Apple gave no details in their announcement regarding the nature of the vulnerability, except that it granted remote access to an attacker.

Solution Path:
Apple has made patches to OS 10.3 available to the public. We advise administrators of Mac OS 10.3 servers and workstations to download, test, and install the patch as soon as is practical.