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Multiple Vulnerabilities in Apple Products Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution

MS-ISAC ADVISORY NUMBER:

2021-120

DATE(S) ISSUED:

09/23/2021

OVERVIEW:

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Apple Products, the most severe of which could allow for arbitrary code execution.

  • iOS is a mobile operating system for mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • macOS Catalina is the 16th major release of macOS.

Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could result in arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

Apple has reported that all three vulnerabilities below have been seen in the wild. (CVE-2021-30860, CVE-2021-30869, CVE-2021-30858)

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • iOS prior to version 12.5.5
  • macOS Catalina prior to Security Update 2021-006

RISK:

Government:
  • Large and medium government entities: HIGH
  • Small government entities: MEDIUM
Businesses:
  • Large and medium business entities: HIGH
  • Small business entities: MEDIUM
Home Users:
LOW

TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Apple Products, the most severe of which could allow for arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges. Details of these vulnerabilities are as follows:

iOS

  • An integer overflow was addressed with improved input validation, which could lead to arbitrary code execution. (CVE-2021-30860)
  • A use after free issue was addressed with improved memory management, which could lead to arbitrary code execution. (CVE-2021-30858)
  • A type confusion issue was addressed with improved state handling, which could lead to arbitrary code execution. (CVE-2021-30869)

macOS Catalina

  • A type confusion issue was addressed with improved state handling, which could allow for arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges. (CVE-2021-30869)

Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could result in arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges. Depending on the permission associated with the application running the exploit, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Apply appropriate patches provided by Apple to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Run all software as a nonprivileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to download, accept or execute files from untrusted and unknown sources.
  • Remind users not to visit untrusted websites or follow links provided by untrusted or unknown sources.
  • Evaluate read, write, and execute permissions on all newly installed software.
  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.

REFERENCES:

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