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Researchers Detail Apple's Recent Zero-Click Shortcuts Vulnerability

Researchers Detail Apple's Recent Zero-Click Shortcuts Vulnerability

Feb 23, 2024 Data Privacy / iOS Security
Details have emerged about a now-patched high-severity security flaw in Apple's Shortcuts app that could permit a shortcut to access sensitive information on the device without users' consent. The vulnerability, tracked as  CVE-2024-23204  (CVSS score: 7.5), was addressed by Apple on January 22, 2024, with the release of  iOS 17.3, iPadOS 17.3 ,  macOS Sonoma 14.3 , and  watchOS 10.3 . "A shortcut may be able to use sensitive data with certain actions without prompting the user," the iPhone maker said in an advisory, stating it was fixed with "additional permissions checks." Apple Shortcuts is a  scripting application  that allows users to create personalized workflows (aka macros) for  executing   specific tasks  on their devices. It comes installed by default on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS operating systems. Bitdefender security researcher Jubaer Alnazi Jabin, who discovered and reported the Shortcuts bug, said it could be weaponized to create a
Apple Unveils PQ3 Protocol - Post-Quantum Encryption for iMessage

Apple Unveils PQ3 Protocol - Post-Quantum Encryption for iMessage

Feb 22, 2024 Quantum Computing / Encryption
Apple has announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol called  PQ3  that it said will be integrated into iMessage to secure the messaging platform against future attacks arising from the threat of a practical quantum computer. "With compromise-resilient encryption and extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks, PQ3 is the first messaging protocol to reach what we call Level 3 security — providing protocol protections that surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," Apple  said . The iPhone maker described the protocol as "groundbreaking," "state-of-the-art," and as having the "strongest security properties" of any cryptographic convention deployed at scale. PQ3 is the latest security guardrail erected by Apple in iMessage after it switched from  RSA  to Elliptic Curve cryptography ( ECC ), and by protecting encryption keys on devices with the Secure Enclave in 2019. While the current algorith
How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

Feb 15, 2024SaaS Security / Risk Management
With many of the highly publicized 2023 cyber attacks revolving around one or more SaaS applications, SaaS has become a cause for genuine concern in many boardroom discussions. More so than ever, considering that GenAI applications are, in fact, SaaS applications. Wing Security (Wing), a SaaS security company, conducted an analysis of 493 SaaS-using companies in Q4 of 2023.  Their study reveals  how companies use SaaS today, and the wide variety of threats that result from that usage. This unique analysis provides rare and important insights into the breadth and depth of SaaS-related risks, but also provides practical tips to mitigate them and ensure SaaS can be widely used without compromising security posture.  The TL;DR Version Of SaaS Security 2023 brought some now infamous examples of malicious players leveraging or directly targeting SaaS, including the North Korean group UNC4899, 0ktapus ransomware group, and Russian Midnight Blizzard APT, which targeted well-known organizat
Alert: New Stealthy "RustDoor" Backdoor Targeting Apple macOS Devices

Alert: New Stealthy "RustDoor" Backdoor Targeting Apple macOS Devices

Feb 10, 2024 macOS Malware / Cyber Threat
Apple macOS users are the target of a new Rust-based backdoor that has been operating under the radar since November 2023. The backdoor,  codenamed   RustDoor  by Bitdefender, has been found to impersonate an update for Microsoft Visual Studio and target both Intel and Arm architectures. The exact initial access pathway used to propagate the implant is currently not known, although it's said to be distributed as FAT binaries that contain Mach-O files. Multiple variants of the malware with minor modifications have been detected to date, likely indicating active development. The earliest sample of RustDoor dates back to November 2, 2023. It comes with a wide range of commands that allow it to gather and upload files, and harvest information about the compromised endpoint. Some versions also include configurations with details about what data to collect, the list of targeted extensions and directories, and the directories to exclude. The captured information is then exfiltrate
cyber security

Are You Vulnerable to Third-Party Breaches Through Interconnected SaaS Apps?

websiteWing SecuritySaaS Security / Risk Management
Protect against cascading risks by identifying and mitigating app2app and third-party SaaS vulnerabilities.
Apple Issues Patch for Critical Zero-Day in iPhones, Macs - Update Now

Apple Issues Patch for Critical Zero-Day in iPhones, Macs - Update Now

Jan 23, 2024 Vulnerability / Device Security
Apple on Monday released security updates for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and Safari web browser to address a zero-day flaw that has come under active exploitation in the wild. The issue, tracked as CVE-2024-23222 , is a type confusion bug in the WebKit browser engine that could be exploited by a threat actor to achieve arbitrary code execution when processing maliciously crafted web content. The tech giant said the problem was fixed with improved checks. Type confusion vulnerabilities , in general, could be weaponized to perform out-of-bounds memory access, or lead to a crash and arbitrary code execution. In a terse advisory, Apple acknowledged it's "aware of a report that this issue may have been exploited," but did not share any other specifics about the nature of attacks or the threat actors leveraging the shortcoming. The updates are available for the following devices and operating systems - iOS 17.3 and iPadOS 17.3 - iPhone XS and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch
SpectralBlur: New macOS Backdoor Threat from North Korean Hackers

SpectralBlur: New macOS Backdoor Threat from North Korean Hackers

Jan 05, 2024 Endpoint Security / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new Apple macOS backdoor called  SpectralBlur  that overlaps with a known malware family that has been attributed to North Korean threat actors. "SpectralBlur is a moderately capable backdoor that can upload/download files, run a shell, update its configuration, delete files, hibernate, or sleep, based on commands issued from the [command-and-control server]," security researcher Greg Lesnewich  said . The malware shares similarities with  KANDYKORN  (aka SockRacket), an advanced implant that functions as a remote access trojan capable of taking control of a compromised host. It's worth noting that the KANDYKORN activity also intersects with another campaign orchestrated by the Lazarus sub-group known as BlueNoroff (aka TA444) which culminates in the deployment of a backdoor referred to as  RustBucket  and a late-stage payload dubbed  ObjCShellz . In recent months, the threat actor has been observed  combining disparate pieces of t
Apple Releases Security Updates to Patch Critical iOS and macOS Security Flaws

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

Dec 12, 2023 Zero 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 in Bluetooth 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. Also released by Apple is  Safari 17.2 , containing fixes for two WebKit flaws – C
Governments May Spy on You by Requesting Push Notifications from Apple and Google

Governments May Spy on You by Requesting Push Notifications from Apple and Google

Dec 07, 2023 Privacy / Data Security
Unspecified governments have demanded mobile push notification records from Apple and Google users to pursue people of interest, according to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. "Push notifications are alerts sent by phone apps to users' smartphones," Wyden  said . "These alerts pass through a digital post office run by the phone operating system provider -- overwhelmingly Apple or Google. Because of that structure, the two companies have visibility into how their customers use apps and could be compelled to provide this information to U.S. or foreign governments." Wyden, in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, said both Apple and Google confirmed receiving such requests but noted that information about the practice was restricted from public release by the U.S. government, raising questions about the transparency of legal demands they receive from governments. When mobile apps for Android and iOS send push notifications to users' devices, they are ro
Warning for iPhone Users: Experts Warn of Sneaky Fake Lockdown Mode Attack

Warning for iPhone Users: Experts Warn of Sneaky Fake Lockdown Mode Attack

Dec 05, 2023 Mobile Security / Spyware
A new "post-exploitation tampering technique" can be abused by malicious actors to visually deceive a target into believing that their Apple iPhone is running in Lockdown Mode when it's actually not and carry out covert attacks. The novel method, detailed by Jamf Threat Labs in a  report  shared with The Hacker News, "shows that if a hacker has already infiltrated your device, they can cause Lockdown Mode to be 'bypassed' when you trigger its activation." In other words, the goal is to implement Fake Lockdown Mode on a device that's compromised by an attacker through other means, such as  unpatched security flaws  that can trigger execution of arbitrary code. Lockdown Mode , introduced by Apple last year with iOS 16, is an  enhanced security measure  that aims to safeguard high-risk individuals from sophisticated digital threats such as mercenary spyware by  minimizing the attack surface . What it doesn't do is prevent the execution of mali
Zero-Day Alert: Apple Rolls Out iOS, macOS, and Safari Patches for 2 Actively Exploited Flaws

Zero-Day Alert: Apple Rolls Out iOS, macOS, and Safari Patches for 2 Actively Exploited Flaws

Dec 01, 2023 Spyware / Threat Analysis
Apple has  released  software updates for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Safari web browser to address two security flaws that it said have come under active exploitation in the wild on older versions of its software. The vulnerabilities, both of which reside in the WebKit web browser engine, are described below - CVE-2023-42916  - An out-of-bounds read issue that could be exploited to leak sensitive information when processing web content. CVE-2023-42917  - A memory corruption bug that could result in arbitrary code execution when processing web content. Apple said it's aware of reports exploiting the shortcomings "against versions of iOS before iOS 16.7.1," which was released on October 10, 2023. Clément Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has been credited with discovering and reporting the twin flaws. The iPhone maker did not provide additional information regarding ongoing exploitation, but previously disclosed zero-days in iOS have been used to  de
WhatsApp Introduces New Privacy Feature to Protect IP Address in Calls

WhatsApp Introduces New Privacy Feature to Protect IP Address in Calls

Nov 08, 2023 Privacy / Data Security
Meta-owned WhatsApp is officially rolling out a  new privacy feature  in its messaging service called "Protect IP Address in Calls" that masks users' IP addresses to other parties by relaying the calls through its servers. "Calls are end-to-end encrypted, so even if a call is relayed through WhatsApp servers, WhatsApp cannot listen to your calls," the company said in a statement shared with The Hacker News. The core idea is to make it harder for bad actors in the call to infer a user's location by securely relaying the connection through WhatsApp servers. However, a tradeoff to enabling the privacy option is a slight dip in call quality. Viewed in that light, it's akin to Apple's  iCloud Private Relay , which adds an anonymity layer by  routing users' Safari browsing sessions  through two secure internet relays. It's worth noting that the "Protect IP Address in Calls" feature has been under development since at least late Augu
iLeakage: New Safari Exploit Impacts Apple iPhones and Macs with A- and M-Series CPUs

iLeakage: New Safari Exploit Impacts Apple iPhones and Macs with A- and M-Series CPUs

Oct 26, 2023 Data Security / Vulnerability
A group of academics has devised a novel side-channel attack dubbed  iLeakage  that exploits a weakness in the A- and M-series CPUs running on Apple iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices, enabling the extraction of sensitive information from the Safari web browser. "An attacker can induce Safari to render an arbitrary webpage, subsequently recovering sensitive information present within it using speculative execution," researchers Jason Kim, Stephan van Schaik, Daniel Genkin, and Yuval Yarom  said  in a new study. In a practical attack scenario, the weakness could be exploited using a malicious web page to recover Gmail inbox content and even recover passwords that are autofilled by credential managers. iLeakage, besides being the first case of a  Spectre-style   speculative execution   attack  against Apple Silicon CPUs, also works against all third-party web browsers available for iOS and iPadOS owing to Apple's App Store policy that mandates all browser vendors to use Saf
Apple Rolls Out Security Patches for Actively Exploited iOS Zero-Day Flaw

Apple Rolls Out Security Patches for Actively Exploited iOS Zero-Day Flaw

Oct 05, 2023 Zero Day / Vulnerability
Apple on Wednesday rolled out security patches to address a new zero-day flaw in iOS and iPadOS that it said has come under active exploitation in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2023-42824 , the kernel vulnerability could be abused by a local attacker to elevate their privileges. The iPhone maker said it addressed the problem with improved checks. "Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS before iOS 16.6," the company  noted  in a terse advisory. While additional details about the nature of the attacks and the identity of the threat actors perpetrating them are currently unknown, successful exploitation likely hinges on an attacker already obtaining an initial foothold by some other means. Apple's latest update also resolves  CVE-2023-5217  impacting the WebRTC component, which Google last week described as a heap-based buffer overflow in the VP8 compression format in libvpx. The patches, iOS 17.0.3 and iPadOS 1
Apple Rushes to Patch 3 New Zero-Day Flaws: iOS, macOS, Safari, and More Vulnerable

Apple Rushes to Patch 3 New Zero-Day Flaws: iOS, macOS, Safari, and More Vulnerable

Sep 22, 2023 Zero Day / Vulnerability
Apple has released yet another round of security patches to address three actively exploited zero-day flaws impacting iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and Safari, taking the total tally of zero-day bugs discovered in its software this year to 16. The list of security vulnerabilities is as follows - CVE-2023-41991  - A certificate validation issue in the Security framework that could allow a malicious app to bypass signature validation. CVE-2023-41992  - A security flaw in Kernel that could allow a local attacker to elevate their privileges. CVE-2023-41993  - A WebKit flaw that could result in arbitrary code execution when processing specially crafted web content. Apple did not provide additional specifics barring an acknowledgement that the "issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS before iOS 16.7." The updates are available for the following devices and operating systems - iOS 16.7 and iPadOS 16.7  - iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iP
Google Rushes to Patch Critical Chrome Vulnerability Exploited in the Wild - Update Now

Google Rushes to Patch Critical Chrome Vulnerability Exploited in the Wild - Update Now

Sep 12, 2023 Browser Security / Zero Day
Google on Monday rolled out out-of-band security patches to address a critical security flaw in its Chrome web browser that it said has been exploited in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2023-4863 , the issue has been described as a case of  heap buffer overflow  that resides in the  WebP image format  that could result in arbitrary code execution or a crash. Apple Security Engineering and Architecture (SEAR) and the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School have been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw on September 6, 2023. The tech giant has yet to disclose additional details about the nature of the attacks, but noted that it's "aware that an exploit for CVE-2023-4863 exists in the wild." With the latest fix, Google has addressed a total of four zero-day vulnerabilities in Chrome since the start of the year - CVE-2023-2033  (CVSS score: 8.8) - Type Confusion in V8 CVE-2023-2136  (CVSS score: 9.6) - Integer overflow in Skia CVE-2023-3079
Apple Rushes to Patch Zero-Day Flaws Exploited for Pegasus Spyware on iPhones

Apple Rushes to Patch Zero-Day Flaws Exploited for Pegasus Spyware on iPhones

Sep 08, 2023 Spyware / Vulnerability
Apple on Thursday released emergency security updates for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS to address two zero-day flaws that have been exploited in the wild to deliver NSO Group's Pegasus mercenary spyware. The issues are described as below - CVE-2023-41061  - A validation issue in Wallet that could result in arbitrary code execution when handling a maliciously crafted attachment. CVE-2023-41064  - A buffer overflow issue in the  Image I/O component  that could result in arbitrary code execution when processing a maliciously crafted image. While CVE-2023-41064 was found by the Citizen Lab at the University of Torontoʼs Munk School, CVE-2023-41061 was discovered internally by Apple, with "assistance" from the Citizen Lab. The updates are available for the following devices and operating systems - iOS 16.6.1 and iPadOS 16.6.1  - iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generati
Apple Sets New Rules for Developers to Prevent Fingerprinting and Data Misuse

Apple Sets New Rules for Developers to Prevent Fingerprinting and Data Misuse

Jul 29, 2023 Data Security / Privacy
Apple has announced plans to require developers to submit reasons to use certain APIs in their apps starting later this year with the release of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 to prevent their abuse for data collection. "This will help ensure that apps only use these APIs for their intended purpose," the company  said  in a statement. "As part of this process, you'll need to select one or more approved reasons that accurately reflect how your app uses the API, and your app can only use the API for the reasons you've selected." The APIs that  require  reasons for use relate to the following - File timestamp APIs System boot time APIs Disk space APIs Active keyboard APIs, and User defaults APIs The iPhone maker said it's making the move to ensure that such APIs are not abused by app developers to collect device signals to carry out  fingerprinting , which could be employed to  uniquely identify users  across different a
Apple Rolls Out Urgent Patches for Zero-Day Flaws Impacting iPhones, iPads and Macs

Apple Rolls Out Urgent Patches for Zero-Day Flaws Impacting iPhones, iPads and Macs

Jul 25, 2023 Endpoint Security / Zero Day
Apple has  rolled out security updates  to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari to address several security vulnerabilities, including one actively exploited zero-day bug in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2023-38606 , the shortcoming resides in the kernel and permits a malicious app to modify sensitive kernel state potentially. The company said it was addressed with improved state management. "Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS released before iOS 15.7.1," the tech giant noted in its advisory. It's worth noting that CVE-2023-38606 is the fourth security vulnerability discovered in connection with  Operation Triangulation , a sophisticated mobile cyber espionage campaign targeting iOS devices since 2019 using a zero-click exploit chain. The other two zero-days,  CVE-2023-32434 and CVE-2023-32435 , were patched by Apple last month. A third shortcoming, CVE-2022-46690 , was addressed as part of securi
Apple Threatens to Pull iMessage and FaceTime from U.K. Amid Surveillance Demands

Apple Threatens to Pull iMessage and FaceTime from U.K. Amid Surveillance Demands

Jul 22, 2023 Encryption / Privacy
Apple has warned that it would rather stop offering iMessage and FaceTime services in the U.K. than bowing down to government pressure in response to new proposals that seek to expand digital surveillance powers available to state intelligence agencies. The development, first  reported  by BBC News, makes the iPhone maker the latest to join the chorus of voices protesting against forthcoming legislative changes to the  Investigatory Powers Act  ( IPA ) 2016 in a manner that would effectively render encryption protections ineffective. Specifically, the  Online Safety Bill  requires companies to install technology to scan for child sex exploitation and abuse (CSEA) material and terrorism content in encrypted messaging apps and other services. It also mandates that messaging services clear security features with the Home Office before releasing them and take immediate action to disable them if required without informing the public. While the fact does not explicitly call out for the r
Apple Issues Urgent Patch for Zero-Day Flaw Targeting iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Safari

Apple Issues Urgent Patch for Zero-Day Flaw Targeting iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Safari

Jul 11, 2023 Zero-Day / Endpoint Security
Apple has released  Rapid Security Response  updates for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Safari web browser to  address  a zero-day flaw that it said has been actively exploited in the wild. The WebKit bug, cataloged as  CVE-2023-37450 , could allow threat actors to achieve arbitrary code execution when processing specially crafted web content. The iPhone maker said it addressed the issue with improved checks. Credited with discovering and reporting the flaw is an anonymous researcher. As with most cases like this, there are scant details about the nature and the scale of the attacks and the identity of the threat actor behind them. But Apple noted in a terse advisory that it's "aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited." The updates, iOS 16.5.1 (a), iPadOS 16.5.1 (a), macOS Ventura 13.4.1 (a), and Safari 16.5.2, are available for devices running the following operating system versions: iOS 16.5.1 and iPadOS 16.5.1 macOS Ventura 13.4.1 macOS Big
Beware: New 'RustBucket' Malware Variant Targeting macOS Users

Beware: New 'RustBucket' Malware Variant Targeting macOS Users

Jul 01, 2023 Endpoint Security / Malware
Researchers have pulled back the curtain on an updated version of an Apple macOS malware called RustBucket that comes with improved capabilities to establish persistence and avoid detection by security software. "This variant of RustBucket, a malware family that targets macOS systems, adds persistence capabilities not previously observed," Elastic Security Labs researchers  said  in a report published this week, adding it's "leveraging a dynamic network infrastructure methodology for command-and-control." RustBucket is the work of a North Korean threat actor known as BlueNoroff, which is part of a larger intrusion set tracked under the name  Lazarus Group , an elite hacking unit supervised by the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), the country's primary intelligence agency. The malware came to light in April 2023, when Jamf Threat Labs  described  it as an AppleScript-based backdoor capable of retrieving a second-stage payload from a remote server. Elas
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