Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Apple Patches Multiple Major Security Flaws

New security updates cross all Apple platforms.

Apple yesterday released security updates to deal with serious vulnerabilities in multiple products including a handful of "critical" flaws that should be patched immediately.

According to US-CERT, the patches released cover Safari 12.0.1, iCloud for Windows 7.8, iTunes 12.9.1, watchOS 5.1, iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.1, macOS Security Update 2018-001 High Sierra, and macOS Security Update 2018-005 Sierra. While the patched vulnerabilities are present in a wide variety of products, according to security researchers at Semmle, at least six of the critical vulnerabilities are within the XNU kernel that sits at the core of all current Apple operating systems.

In a post on the Semmle blog, researcher Kevin Backhouse described how he discovered the vulnerabilities using variant analysis to search for patterns in code. In an interview with Dark Reading, Oege de Moor, CEO and co-founder of Semmle, explained that the bugs fall into two categories: "The ICMP packet handler vulnerability is a classical heap buffer overflow. The second second category is the NFS client, and it's responsible for  five independent, but highly related, vulnerabilities."

de Moor says that Backhouse found the first of the NFS vulnerabilities through the sort of general code exploration common to threat researchers. Backhouse then used the discovered code to feed a variant analysis engine that ran on other operating systems and found the related vulnerabilities.

"In this case, it's a critical vulnerability, allowing an attacker to mount a malicious NFS volume and gain kernel-level privileges," says de Moor.

According to Semmle's findings, those kernel privileges could allow a malicious actor to read, write, and delete files on disk and in memory, install new applications, or wipe and reset the device to factory settings.

The five related NFS vulnerabilities were patched in macOS with this latest round of updates. The ICMP vulnerability doesn't grant the same depth of privilege, but it has a broader footprint and the possibility of easier exploitation.

Backhouse found a vulnerability in the ICMP packet-handling module in the XNU kernel. de Moor says the bug could be exploited through a classic buffer overflow technique and could allow an attacker to cause affected systems to reboot at arbitrary times. It was remediated in the latest releases of MacOS Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave; and in iOS 12. It was not, de Moor says, patched for iOS 11, so the roughly 40% of iOS devices that have not (or cannot) upgrade to the latest operating system version are still vulnerable.

Team Effort

While Backhouse was responsible for finding nearly half of the vulnerabilities patched in the latest releases, other researchers also contributed to the vulnerability count.

Jake Massimo, of the University of London, discovered a flaw in the way that Apple implemented a check for prime numbers in its corecrypto module. In his blog post announcing the flaw, Massimo describes how the function can be spoofed into labeling a composite (or non-prime) number as prime, and through doing so render an encryption algorithm far more vulnerable to cracking. Massimo, with colleagues, has issued a full paper on the flaw, with details about the algorithm used to determine whether a number is prime and the effects of getting it wrong.

Apple includes details on all of the new updates on the Apple support site.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
10/31/2018 | 11:17:22 PM
Security only, or security-plus?
The important question: Are these STRICTLY security-related updates? Or did they throw in feature changes too?

Because not only are users tired of that garbage, but it's precisely why they're patch-phobic and update-phobic to begin with! (My lengthier rant on the subject for a sister site here: securitynow.com/author.asp?section_id=706&doc_id=746324 )
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-3493
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
The overlayfs implementation in the linux kernel did not properly validate with respect to user namespaces the setting of file capabilities on files in an underlying file system. Due to the combination of unprivileged user namespaces along with a patch carried in the Ubuntu kernel to allow unprivile...
CVE-2021-3492
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
Shiftfs, an out-of-tree stacking file system included in Ubuntu Linux kernels, did not properly handle faults occurring during copy_from_user() correctly. These could lead to either a double-free situation or memory not being freed at all. An attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (ker...
CVE-2020-2509
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
A command injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QTS and QuTS hero. If exploited, this vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary commands in a compromised application. We have already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions: QTS 4.5.2.1566 Build 20210202 and later Q...
CVE-2020-36195
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
An SQL injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running Multimedia Console or the Media Streaming add-on. If exploited, the vulnerability allows remote attackers to obtain application information. QNAP has already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions of Multimedia C...
CVE-2021-29445
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
jose-node-esm-runtime is an npm package which provides a number of cryptographic functions. In versions prior to 3.11.4 the AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 Algorithm (A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512) decryption would always execute both HMAC tag verification and CBC decryption, if either failed `JWEDe...