Apple Releases Security Updates to Patch Critical iOS and macOS Security Flaws

Cyber Security

Dec 12, 2023NewsroomZero Day / Vulnerability

Apple on Monday released security patches for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari web browser to address multiple security flaws, in addition to backporting fixes for two recently disclosed zero-days to older devices.

This includes updates for 12 security vulnerabilities in iOS and iPadOS spanning AVEVideoEncoder, ExtensionKit, Find My, ImageIO, Kernel, Safari Private Browsing, and WebKit. macOS Sonoma 14.2, for its part, resolves 39 shortcomings, counting six bugs impacting the ncurses library.

Notable among the flaws is CVE-2023-45866, a critical security issue that could allow an attacker in a privileged network position to inject keystrokes by spoofing a keyboard.

The vulnerability was disclosed by SkySafe security researcher Marc Newlin last week. It has been remediated in iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, and macOS Sonoma 14.2 with improved checks, the iPhone maker said.

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Also released by Apple is Safari 17.2, containing fixes for two WebKit flaws – CVE-2023-42890 and CVE-2023-42883 – that could lead to arbitrary code execution and a denial-of-service (DoS) condition. The update is available for Macs running macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura.

iOS 17.2 and iPadOS 17.2, besides addressing a Siri bug that could allow an adversary with physical access to obtain sensitive data, packs in a security upgrade in the form of Contact Key Verification, which ensures privacy of iMessage conversations by enabling users to verify the contacts they are communicating with.

“iMessage Contact Key Verification advances the state of the art of Key Transparency deployments by having user devices themselves verify consistency proofs and ensure consistency of the KT system across all user devices for an account,” Apple noted in a technical explainer in October 2023.

“These improvements protect against key directory compromise as well as compromise of the transparency service itself, and can detect split views presented by both services.”

Coinciding with the updates, Apple has also released iOS 16.7.3 and iPadOS 16.7.3 to close out as many as eight security issues, two of which relate to WebKit (CVE-2023-42916 and CVE-2023-42917) and were disclosed by Redmond as having been actively exploited in the wild earlier this month.

Both the vulnerabilities have been patched in tvOS 17.2 and watchOS 10.2 as well. No additional details are available as yet regarding the nature of the exploitation and the threat actors that may be using them.

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