from the one-bad-apple-spoils-the-whole-bunch dept.
Papas Fritas writes:
"Last October, Bruce Schneier speculated that the three characteristics of a good backdoor are a low chance of discovery, high deniability if discovered, and minimal conspiracy to implement. He now says that the critical iOS and OSX vulnerability that Apple patched last week meets these criteria, and could be an example of a deliberate change by a bad actor:
Look at the code. What caused the vulnerability is a single line of code: a second "goto fail;" statement. Since that statement isn't a conditional, it causes the whole procedure to terminate ... Was this done on purpose? I have no idea. But if I wanted to do something like this on purpose, this is exactly how I would do it.
He later added that 'if the Apple auditing system is any good, they will be able to trace this errant goto line to the specific login that made the change.'
Steve Bellovin, professor of Computer Science in Columbia University and Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission, has another take on the vulnerability: 'It may have been an accident; If it was enemy action, it was fairly clumsy.'"