QuickTime Vulnerability and UltraKey
The real news we have heard is that Apple is no longer maintaining QuickTime for Windows, which includes addressing any vulnerabilities that may exist. This does create a security concern, which has to be weighed for what the threat amounts to, how quickly we have to address it, and what alternatives exist aside from complete removal.
Completely removing QuickTime is not necessary, particularly when we understand where the threat arises, and how we can eliminate it. That said, we are removing QuickTime use in UltraKey for Windows, because it clearly has no future on Windows.
Fixing the Vulnerability without Losing the Benefit:
A security problem can arise with QuickTime, by downloading a movie from an untrusted source, and playing the movie using the QuickTime plug-in in a browser, or using the QuickTime Player directly. The damage, if any, is carried out by playing the untrusted movie with these tools.
The browser plug-in for QuickTime is being removed by the browser vendors. You can simply delete the QuickTime applications as explained below.
Don't delete the QuickTime directory because the system accesses and loads certain DLLs that are located there. The DLLs provide the benefit that UltraKey utilizes. The QuickTime applications are the only thing that needs to go.
To be clear, movies are not self-executing. A player must be used to play them. Windows Media Player and some other proprietary players can be used to play QuickTime movies.
UltraKey does not use any QuickTime applications or plug-ins to play its movies. Nor is there any association established by UltraKey to play any movie. UltraKey plays its own movie collection through direct actions, using the QuickTime system capability, not the QuickTime Player or plug-in.
Your school or organization can safely delete the following executables from the QuickTime folder in the Programs (x86) directory, without affecting UltraKey:
Once these are deleted, QuickTime movies will no longer be played by QuickTime applications, but they may still be played by Windows Media Player or other proprietary technologies.
Our Plans for QuickTime:
Bytes of Learning will remove QuickTime use from its next major version of UltraKey (UltraKey 7) for Windows. This is less because of security threats, but because Apple’s support for QuickTime has ebbed and flowed for several years. This latest announcement is really another reduction in support, that weighs against continued use of QuickTime.
UltraKey Online is entirely plug-in free, using the latest browser standards. In particular, all videos are played using native browser capabilities. We would be delighted to schedule a preview for you.