Apple plugs 4 security holes in its new iOS 6

Security concerns could lessen BYOD enthusiasm for Apple devices

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has fixed four critical security holes in its iOS 6 operating system, which runs the new iPhone 5, as well as the latest versions of iPad and iPod Touch.

Security concerns have not deterred iOS users from upgrading to iOS 6. According to the latest research from Chitika, more than 60 percent of iOS users had switched to iOS 6 a month after its September release.

This enthusiasm for iOS 6 could be dampened by the presence of four security flaws that were not detected in the development of iOS 6, which plugged around 200 security holes in the previous version of the mobile operating system.

The most serious hole fixed by Apple is a kernel flaw that allows an attacker to bypass address space randomization layout protections and determine the address in the kernel, Apple explained. The company said that data on the device could be exposed by the way iOS handles application programming interfaces in relation to kernel extensions.

In addition, Apple fixed a security hole in Passcode Lock, which could enable an attacker with physical control of the device to access Passbook passes without entering a password.

"A state management issue existed in the handling of Passbook passes at the lock screen. This issue was addressed through improved handling of Passbook passes," Apple said.

Apple fixed two security holes in its WebKit. The first, which involves how iOS handles JavaScript arrays, could enable an attacker to gain remote control of the device if the user visits a malicious website that infected the device.

The second, which relates to how iOS handles the scalable vector graphics, could also enable an attacker to gain remote control of a website-infected device.

Apple has gained an edge in the BYOD market partly because of its security reputation compared to Android-based devices. Security lapses in iOS could help Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) make headway in the BYOD market with its newly launched Windows Phone 8.

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