Apple released urgent patches to address multiple flaws in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari, including an actively exploited zero-day.
The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2023-38606, resides in the kernel and can be exploited to modify sensitive kernel state potentially. Apple addressed the vulnerability 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.
This vulnerability is one of the flaws in the list exploited by the threat actors in the Operation Triangulation campaign that was discovered by Kaspersky researchers last month.
The attack campaign was discovered while monitoring the network traffic of their own corporate Wi-Fi network dedicated to mobile devices using the Kaspersky Unified Monitoring and Analysis Platform (KUMA).
The attack chains start with a message sent via the iMessage service to an iOS device. The message has an attachment containing an exploit. The expert explained that the message triggers a remote code execution vulnerability without any user interaction.
Once after the disclosure, Russia’s FSB accused US intelligence for the attacks against the iPhones. According to FSB, thousands of iOS devices belonging to domestic subscribers and diplomatic missions and embassies have been targeted as part of the campaign.
FSB believes that Apple supported US intelligence in this cyberespionage campaign in gathering intelligence from diplomats from NATO countries, Israel, China, and Syria.
The updates are available for the following devices and operating systems –
- iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 – 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
- iOS 15.7.8 and iPadOS 15.7.8 – iPhone 6s (all models), iPhone 7 (all models), iPhone SE (1st generation), iPad Air 2, iPad mini (4th generation), and iPod touch (7th generation)
- macOS Ventura 13.5, macOS Monterey 12.6.8, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.9
- tvOS 16.6 – Apple TV 4K (all models) and Apple TV HD, and
- watchOS 9.6 – Apple Watch Series 4 and later
With this update, Apple has resolved a total of 11 zero-days impacting its software since the start of 2023