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QuickTime bugs open door to attack

Several security flaws in Apple Computer's media player could put computers running Windows and Mac OS X at risk of hijack.

While fans checked out the latest and greatest at Macworld on Tuesday, Apple Computer sent out a warning about serious security flaws in QuickTime.

The vulnerabilities in the media player put computers running Windows and Mac OS X at risk of being commandeered by an outsider, Apple said on its Web site. An attacker could exploit the flaws by tricking the user into opening a malicious file, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said.

Apple released QuickTime 7.0.4 to address the vulnerabilities. The French Security Incident Response Team, a commercial security monitoring and research outfit, described the problems as "critical," its highest risk rating.

The Tuesday alert follows an October security update for the same software. Security experts have warned of unpatched flaws in QuickTime as well as iTunes software. Apple typically does not comment on unpatched flaws.

Media player flaws are nothing new. Cybercriminals are shifting their attacks from operating systems such as Windows to media players and other applications, the SANS Institute said recently.