Earlier this week a story broke from Trend Micro (echoed by America’s department of homeland security) about a current security risk in Quicktime, advising that due to compromises, users uninstall the product from their machines as soon as possible.
A lot of doubt and uncertainty has been sown around this announcement, lets take a look to try and understand this a little more clearly.
The challenge many of us face (in film broadcast and TV particularly ) is that Quicktime is still an integral part of systems that run Adobe or Avid software on Windows. Uninstalling the software as some suggest will cause suites running these packages to malfunction, so its not an option we can easily consider. So what is the risk and what can we do?
Most, of not all the issues, centre around Apple’s web plugin, and the problems that could arise around visiting malicious site and either playing, or downloading and playing compromised content.
So here are a short couple of options that should keep your system and your environment safe:
1/ Don’t access the internet on an edit suit (its not good practice anyway) or more generally, don’t access any sites that you do not know are 100% trusted if this is something you must do.
2/ Check your quicktime version: If you are running QuickTime 7.7.9, on windows 7 or vista the web plugin should not be installed as it is omitted by default. if you have an earlier version, uninstall, and install version 7.7.9. This should correct the problem. However, remember that the issue still remains that there are vulnerabilities that Apple has declared its not going to address and this is primarily the reason for the advisory being issued in the first place. Thus in the balance there is not much we can do about this other than stay vigilant. Remember, as the advisory states: “User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file.” To this end treat this issue as you would any potential virus. Be wary before acting.
If you are unsure which version of quicktime matches your installation please contact us for assistance as not all versions support the version outlined above.