It’s Time to Let Go of QuickTime for Windows

April 29, 2016
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2 min read

Recently, Trend Micro warned of two serious remote code execution vulnerabilities in Apple’s QuickTime for Windows. This was quickly picked up by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which issued its own alert concluding that the only safe course of action is to uninstall.

Apple has been phasing out development and support for QuickTime for Windows since version 7, released almost a decade ago. Although exploits for these vulnerabilities have yet to be seen in the wild, it’s time to get QuickTime off all Windows machines.

There are few remaining dependencies on the product; some Adobe integrations still have dependencies on older codecs that rely on QuickTime, but Adobe is working on a solution.

How to Address Risks

So what about the impact on enterprises where this — and a whole host of other unpatched vulnerabilities — may still be installed?

I asked Dr. Dale Meyerrose, retired major general in the U.S. Air Force and former Associate Director of National Intelligence, about the issue. Now an independent consultant, he had much to say about effective remediation techniques.

“I’m continuously asked by CXOs where they can get the biggest bang for their buck, their biggest immediate reduction in risk, and for me the answer is almost always the same: basic blocking and tackling, [and] well-implemented continuous internal controls, especially those focused on the vulnerable endpoint,” he said.

“Basic housekeeping, though perhaps not the most exciting of topics, is by far one of the largest problems that we really struggle to manage well.”

Finding Fixes for QuickTime for Windows

Unfortunately, home users are pretty much on their own to make and implement these decisions. But for the enterprise, this is where certain mechanisms and products such as IBM BigFix can excel, especially with a vibrant and active community of users that create, share and validate fixlets to automate remediation.

One such fixlet has already been created by an IBM BigFix user and is available for all to use:

Patrick Vowles
Next Generation End Point Security Marketing, IBM

Patrick has over 25 years of hands-on IT and product management experience creating innovative connectivity, security and compliance solutions. After spendin...
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