Apple Mac OS X Software Update command execution

macos-software-update-command-execution (39111) The risk level is classified as HighHigh Risk


Apple Mac OS X could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the system, caused by a man-in-the-middle vulnerability that exists when Software Update is checking for new updates. By intercepting the requests to the update server, a remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to send out a specially-crafted distribution file and execute arbitrary commands on the system.


Base Score: 7.5
  Access Vector: Network
  Access Complexity: Low
  Authentication: None
  Confidentiality Impact: Partial
  Integrity Impact: Partial
  Availability Impact: Partial
Temporal Score: 6.2
  Exploitability: Functional
  Remediation Level: Official-Fix
  Report Confidence: Confirmed


Gain Access


Apply Apple Security Update 2007-009 v1.1, available from the Apple Web site. See References.


  • Apple Web site: About Security Update 2007-009.
  • Apple Web site: About Security Update 2007-009 v1.1.
  • BugTraq Mailing List, Mon Dec 17 2007 - 15:47:29 CST: Apple OS X Software Update Remote Command Execution.
  • BID-26908: Apple Mac OS X Catalog and Distribution File Arbitrary Command Execution Weakness
  • BID-26910: Apple Mac OS X v10.5.1 2007-009 Multiple Security Vulnerabilities
  • CVE-2007-5863: Software Update in Apple Mac OS X 10.5.1 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack between the client and the server, using a modified distribution definition file with the allow-external-scripts option.
  • OSVDB ID: 40722: Apple Mac OS X Software Update Modified Distribution Definition File Remote Code Execution
  • SA28136: Apple Mac OS X Security Update Fixes Multiple Vulnerabilities
  • SECTRACK ID: 1019106: Mac OS X Multiple Bugs Permit Remote Code Execution, Local Privilege Escalation, Cross-Site Scripting Attacks, and Information Disclosure

Platforms Affected:

  • Apple Mac OS X 10.5.1
  • Apple Mac OS X Server 10.5.1


Dec 17, 2007

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