Apple gets bruised in vulnerability report

IE more secure than Firefox: X-Force report

Apple has taken the place of Microsoft for disclosing more vulnerabilities than any other vendor, according to an IBM security report.

The company rose from second place in 2007 to take the top spot away from Microsoft, which had fallen into third place behind open source content management system Joomla.

Final results were close, according to the IBM X-Force 2008 mid-year report, with Apple achieving vulnerability disclosure score of 3.2 percent, followed by Joomla with 2.7 percent and Microsoft at 2.5 percent.

IBM remained in fourth spot, followed by Sun, a newcomer to the top five, while Oracle and Cisco fell from their former positions to sixth and seventh respectively.

The introduction of a new Common Platform Enumeration (CPE) into the X-Force database introduced PHP-based Joomla, WordPress and Drupal into the top ten disclosure list.

X-Force attributes their appearance to a rise in Web application flaws, predominantly cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection attacks, that account for 51 percent of all vulnerabilities.

The report claimed PHP would have taken forth spot in the 2007 disclosure list if the CPE rules were applied.

"From 2007 to the first half of 2008, vulnerabilities affecting Web server applications accounted for 51 percent of all vulnerability disclosures.

Microsoft held on to the top spot for the number of public exploits, followed by Hewlett Packard and Apple. The three vendors accounted for about half of all exploits found in the top ten list.

Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers had a marked drop in critical vulnerabilities from 2007. Both browsers had six memory corruption vulnerabilities, down from 20 and eight respectively in 2007, however Firefox fell short of it's rival with one security zone bypass, and a single miscellaneous vulnerability. Firefox had 11 security zone bypass and four buffer overflow flaws in 2007.

X-Force claims 94 percent of all browser exploits occur within 24 hours of vulnerability disclosure.

X-Force operations manager Kris Lamb said the attacks will be reduced if independent researchers stop publishing exploit code with vulnerability disclosures.

"Without a unified process for disclosing vulnerabilities, the research industry runs the risk of actually fueling online criminal activity," Lamb said.

"There is a reason why X-Force does not publish exploit code for the vulnerabilities we have found, and perhaps it is time for others in our field to reconsider this practice."

Holes in third party virtualisation (VM) software has fallen, according to the study, while unexpected vulnerabilities have risen over the last three years as they are discovered in increasingly complex VM services. Vulnerability research is now focused on complex areas including I/O fuzzing, random opcode generators and static analysis.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Darren Pauli

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?