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Multiple Vulnerabilities in Apple Products Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution

MS-ISAC ADVISORY NUMBER:  2023-010

 

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OVERVIEW:

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

*   Safari is a graphical web browser developed by Apple.
*   iOS is a mobile operating system for mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
*   macOS Monterey is the 18th and release of macOS.
*   macOS Big Sur is the 17th release of macOS.
*   watchOS is the mobile operating system for Apple Watch and is based on the iOS operating system.
*   iPadOS is the successor to iOS 12 and is a mobile operating system for iPads.
*   macOS Ventura is the 19th and current major release of macOS

Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow for arbitrary code execution in the context of the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

Apple is aware of CVE-2022-42856 being actively exploited in the wild.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • Safari versions prior to 16.3 for macOS Big Sur and macOS Monterey
  • iOS versions prior to 12.5.7 for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch (6th generation)
  • iOS versions prior to 15.7.3, for iPadOS 15.7.3, for iPhone 6s (all models), iPhone 7 (all models), iPhone SE (1st generation), iPad Air 2, iPad mini (4th generation), and iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iOS versions prior to 16.3 , for iPadOS 16.3 for iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later
  • macOS Monterey versions prior to 12.6.3
  • macOS Big Sur versions prior to 11.7.3
  • macOS Ventura versions prior to 13.2
  • watchOS versions prior to 9.3

RISK:

Government:
Large and medium government entitiesHIGH
Small governmentHIGH
 
 
 
Businesses:
 
 
Large and medium business entitiesHIGH
Small business entitiesHIGH
 
Home Users:
 
 
 
 
LOW

TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

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

Tactic: Initial Access (TA0001):

Technique: Drive-by Compromise (T1189):

*   Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution. (CVE-2023-23496, CVE-2023-23518, CVE-2023-23517, CVE-2022-42856) 
*   An app may be able to gain root privileges (CVE-2023-23497)
*   An app may be able to access user-sensitive data (CVE-2023-23499)

Details of lower-severity vulnerabilities are as follows:

*   Multiple issues in curl (CVE-2022-42915, CVE-2022-42916, CVE-2022-32221, CVE-2022-35260, CVE-2022-35252)
*   Mounting a maliciously crafted Samba network share may lead to arbitrary code execution (CVE-2023-23513)
*   An encrypted volume may be unmounted and remounted by a different user without prompting for the password (CVE-2023-23493)
*   An app may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges (CVE-2022-32915, CVE-2023-23507, CVE-2023-23504)
*   An app may be able to determine kernel memory layout (CVE-2023-23502)
*   An app may be able to access information about a user’s contacts (CVE-2023-23505)
*   An app may be able to bypass Privacy preferences (CVE-2023-23511, CVE-2023-23508, CVE-2023-23503)
*   Processing an image may lead to a denial-of-service(CVE-2023-23519)
*   An app may be able to leak sensitive kernel state (CVE-2023-23500)
*   Visiting a website may lead to an app denial-of-service (CVE-2023-23512)

Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow for arbitrary code execution in the context of the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Apply the stable channel update provided by Apple to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing. (M1051: Update Software)
    o Safeguard 7.1 : Establish and Maintain a Vulnerability Management Process: Establish and maintain a documented vulnerability management process for enterprise assets. Review and update documentation annually, or when significant enterprise changes occur that could impact this Safeguard.
    o Safeguard 7.2 : Establish and Maintain a Remediation Process: Establish and maintain a risk-based remediation strategy documented in a remediation process, with monthly, or more frequent, reviews.
    o Safeguard 7.6 : Perform Automated Vulnerability Scans of Externally-Exposed Enterprise Assets: Perform automated vulnerability scans of externally-exposed enterprise assets using a SCAP-compliant vulnerability scanning tool. Perform scans on a monthly, or more frequent, basis.
    o Safeguard 7.7 : Remediate Detected Vulnerabilities: Remediate detected vulnerabilities in software through processes and tooling on a monthly, or more frequent, basis, based on the remediation process.
    o Safeguard 16.13 : Conduct Application Penetration Testing: Conduct application penetration testing. For critical applications, authenticated penetration testing is better suited to finding business logic vulnerabilities than code scanning and automated security testing. Penetration testing relies on the skill of the tester to manually manipulate an application as an authenticated and unauthenticated user.
    o Safeguard 18.1 : Establish and Maintain a Penetration Testing Program: Establish and maintain a penetration testing program appropriate to the size, complexity, and maturity of the enterprise. Penetration testing program characteristics include scope, such as network, web application, Application Programming Interface (API), hosted services, and physical premise controls; frequency; limitations, such as acceptable hours, and excluded attack types; point of contact information; remediation, such as how findings will be routed internally; and retrospective requirements.
    o Safeguard 18.2 : Perform Periodic External Penetration Tests: Perform periodic external penetration tests based on program requirements, no less than annually. External penetration testing must include enterprise and environmental reconnaissance to detect exploitable information. Penetration testing requires specialized skills and experience and must be conducted through a qualified party. The testing may be clear box or opaque box.
    o Safeguard 18.3 : Remediate Penetration Test Findings: Remediate penetration test findings based on the enterprise’s policy for remediation scope and prioritization.

  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services. Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack. (M1026: Privileged Account Management)
    o Safeguard 4.7: Manage Default Accounts on Enterprise Assets and Software: Manage default accounts on enterprise assets and software, such as root, administrator, and other pre-configured vendor accounts. Example implementations can include: disabling default accounts or making them unusable.
    o Safeguard 5.4: Restrict Administrator Privileges to Dedicated Administrator Accounts: Restrict administrator privileges to dedicated administrator accounts on enterprise assets. Conduct general computing activities, such as internet browsing, email, and productivity suite use, from the user’s primary, non-privileged account.

  • Restrict use of certain websites, block downloads/attachments, block Javascript, restrict browser extensions, etc. (M1021: Restrict Web-Based Content)
    o Safeguard 2.3: Address Unauthorized Software: Ensure that unauthorized software is either removed from use on enterprise assets or receives a documented exception. Review monthly, or more frequently.
    o Safeguard 2.7: Allowlist Authorized Scripts: Use technical controls, such as digital signatures and version control, to ensure that only authorized scripts, such as specific .ps1, .py, etc., files, are allowed to execute. Block unauthorized scripts from executing. Reassessbi-annually, or more frequently.
    o Safeguard 9.3: Maintain and Enforce Network-Based URL Filters: Enforce and update network-based URL filters to limit an enterprise asset from connecting to potentially malicious or unapproved websites. Example implementations include category-based filtering, reputation-based filtering, or through the use of block lists. Enforce filters for all enterprise assets.
    o Safeguard 9.6: Block Unnecessary File Types: Block unnecessary file types attempting to enter the enterprise’s email gateway.

  • Use capabilities to detect and block conditions that may lead to or be indicative of a software exploit occurring. (Mitigation M1050 : Exploit Protection)
    o Safeguard 10.5: Enable Anti-Exploitation Features: Enable anti-exploitation features on enterprise assets and software, where possible, such as Microsoft® Data Execution Prevention (DEP), Windows® Defender Exploit Guard (WDEG), or Apple® System Integrity Protection (SIP) and Gatekeeper™.

  • Train users to be aware of access or manipulation attempts by an adversary to reduce the risk of successful spearphishing, social engineering, and other techniques that involve user interaction. (M1017: User Training)
    o Safeguard 14.1: Establish and Maintain a Security Awareness Program: Establish and maintain a security awareness program. The purpose of a security awareness program is to educate the enterprise’s workforce on how to interact with enterprise assets and data in a secure manner. Conduct training at hire and, at a minimum, annually. Review and update content annually, or when significant enterprise changes occur that could impact this Safeguard.
    o Safeguard 14.6: Train Workforce Members on Recognizing and Reporting Security Incidents: Train workforce members to be able to recognize a potential incident and be able to report such an incident.

REFERENCES:

CVE

 

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