Latest OS X Update Contained iTunes Bug

If you're a Mac user and you downloaded this week's Mac OS X update (Mavericks 10.9.3), you may have noticed that your computer's Users/ and Users/Shared/ folders have disappeared. It turns out the disappearance is due to a security flaw in iTunes 11.2, which was part of the OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 update. 

The flaw is only really serious on iMacs and MacBooks with multiple user accounts, as it lets one account compromise the other accounts on the same computer. Apple has already patched the flaw with iTunes 11.2.1, which users can download via the Software Updater or from the Apple website.

MORE: 7 Ways to Lock Down Your Online Privacy

Apple explained in a support note that the bug had to do with how the computer handles the permissions of separate users on the same machine: "Upon each reboot, the permissions for the /Users and /Users/Shared directories would be set to world-writable, allowing modification of these directories [by any user]."

The issue also occurred on some Mavericks computers that had iTunes 11.2 installed separately without upgrading to Mavericks 10.9.3.

"This vulnerability was patched quickly, but the truth is that proper quality control should have meant that it was never introduced in the first place," wrote security expert Graham Cluley on his blog.

OS X Mavericks 10.9.3, which contained the buggy iTunes 11.2, also included an update to Safari 7.0.3, improved support for 4K screens, the ability to sync contacts and calendars between a mobile device and a Mac via USB, and a number of security updates that had been previously released.

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Jill Scharr is a creative writer and narrative designer in the videogame industry. She's currently Project Lead Writer at the games studio Harebrained Schemes, and has also worked at Bungie. Prior to that she worked as a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide, covering video games, online security, 3D printing and tech innovation among many subjects. 

  • jimmysmitty
    But I thought only Windows had security flaws????

    Sorry but I love it when this stuff comes out. It just goes to show that all software is the same no matter if it is Windows, OSX or Linux. All have flaws and holes, it just needs to be popular enough to be seen.
  • house70
    iTunes: the most bloated useless buggy piece of software that will never ever touch any of my systems.
  • nukemaster
    It only seems to be bloated and poorly designed on Windows.

    90% sure this is designed to make it look better on Mac OS.

    Kind of like Nvidia using obsolete instruction sets for PhysX when it runs on cpus.

    Marketing all the way.
  • dstarr3
    I got so tired of dealing with iTunes on my PC that I completely removed it and made a virtual PC specifically for using iTunes, so that it doesn't get its filthy tendrils all tangled up in my real system.
  • JD88
    People actually use iTunes?
  • house70
    It only seems to be bloated and poorly designed on Windows. ...

    How does this make it better? More than 90% of users are on Windows.
  • infernocy
    Firstly winamp , a free software is way better that an official program by a "company" , and second isnt OSX a bug itself ?
  • Darkk
    This is what happens when you deal with DRM infested software. Open source all the way.
  • back_by_demand
    Nukemaster, did you read the bit where this was a bug in OSX? Not Windows? Are you high? GTFO TROLL!