Apple Watch’s first security update fixes FREAK and 13 other bugs

Apple on Tuesday released its first security update for the Apple Watch, bringing Watch OS to 1.0.1 and fixing 14 security weaknesses.

It’s been a month since Apple’s Watch went on sale in major markets and anyone who’s managed to get their hands on one should look at how to install the company’s first security update released today, which addresses over a dozen security flaws.

The fixes range from updates to Apple’s trusted list for SSL certificates to plugging up the recent open source bug known as FREAK. And while Apple’s Watch pricing ranges between $350 to $17,000, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and its high-end Apple Watch Edition all run Watch OS 1.0, meaning all devices are equal when it comes to security.

Those credited with finding bugs include researchers from Russia’s Kaspersky Labs, independent researchers and Google’s security team which found three of the bugs. While it could suggest researchers have, most of the bugs are the same those that Apple fixed in iOS, OS X and Apple TV in April.

First on the list of changes in Watch OS 1.0.1 is Apple’s updated certificate trust policy. It doesn’t explain what the change is, Apple in April blocked a certificate from an Egyptian company that relied on an upstream certificate from a Chinese certificate authority.

Many of the other updates come from OS X 10.10.3 for Yosemite that Apple released in April.

Another flaw could allow a maliciously crafted font file to give an attacker control over a Watch. Marc Schoenefeld found a memory corruption issue in the way the Watch OS processed font files, which Apple addressed by improving bounds checking.

Google, which only released its first Watch app this month, is also credited with finding three kernel flaws. While notable, Google is regularly credited by Apple with finding flaws in OS X, Safari and iOS, and all three were patched in the most recent update for OS X Yosemite v10.10.3.

Two of the bugs from Google were found by Mark Mentovai, a Google software engineer who works on Chrome for Mac. Another was found by Stephen Roettger of the Google Security Team.

Mentovai found a race condition in the kernel that could could allow malware to cause a denial of service, and another privilege escalation bug. Roettger found a bug that would create some IPv6 packets from remote network interfaces as local packets, which could allow a remote attacker to bypass network filters.

The update 1.0.1 for Watch OS also suggests the company will soon begin expanding availability, with language support for Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Thai and Turkish.

It also brought improvements to Siri, accessibility, third party apps and features for the device’s health and fitness applications.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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