Apple Products Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution

Fortify Security Team
Aug 18, 2022

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

  • macOS Monterey is the 18th and current major release of macOS.
  • iOS is a mobile operating system for mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • iPadOS is the successor to iOS 12 and is a mobile operating system for iPads.

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: There are no reports that these vulnerabilities are being exploited in the wild.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • macOS Monterey versions prior to 12.5.1
  • iOS and iPadOS versions prior to 15.6.1

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. Details of the most critical vulnerabilities are as follows:
TacticInitial Access (TA0001):
TechniqueDrive-by Compromise (T1189):

  • An out of bounds write vulnerability in Apple Products could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on the targeted host. (CVE-2022-32893, CVE-2022-32894)

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)
    • 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.
    • Safeguard 7.4: Perform Automated Application Patch Management: Perform application updates on enterprise assets through automated patch management on a monthly, or more frequent, basis.
  • 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)
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • Safeguard 9.2: Use DNS Filtering Services: Use DNS filtering services on all enterprise assets to block access to known malicious domains.
    • 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.
  • 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)
    • 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.
    • 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:

Apple:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213413
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213412

CVE:

https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2022-32893
https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2022-32894

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