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Apple Confirms iOS 15 Zero-Day Exploitation

Apple rushes out iOS 15.0.2 to address a remote code execution vulnerability that is being actively exploited

Apple’s iOS zero-day problems appear to be getting worse.

Just weeks after shipping iOS 15 as a security-themed upgrade, Apple rushed out an urgent patch to address a software flaw being “actively exploited” in the wild.

The Cupertino, Calif. device maker confirmed the latest zero-day in an advisory and urged iOS and iPad users to upgrade to the newest iOS 15.0.2.

This is the 72nd in-the-wild zero day attack documented so far in 2021. According to data tracked by SecurityWeek, 16 of the 72 exploited zero-days affect code in Apple’s products.

According to Apple’s advisory, the security defect (CVE-2021-30883) exists in IOMobileFrameBuffer, a kernel extension used to manage the screen frame buffer.  

“An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the company said. 

Apple did not provide additional details on the exploitation.

[ READ:  Apple Ships Urgent Patch for FORCEDENTRY Zero-Days ]

Shortly after the release of iOS 15.0.2, a security researcher reverse-engineered the patch and published proof-of-concept code to demonstrate the severity of the issue.

The urgent point-update comes less than a month after the release of iOS 15 with a built-in two-factor authentication code generator and multiple anti-tracking security and privacy features.

The iOS 15 makeover also included patches for at least 22 documented security vulnerabilities, some serious enough to expose iPhone and iPad users to remote denial-of-service and local code execution attacks.

According to Apple, the built-in authenticator can generate verification codes needed for additional sign-in security. “If a site offers two-factor authentication, you can set up verification codes under Passwords in Settings -- no need to download an additional app. Once set up, verification codes autofill when you sign in to the site.”

Another notable feature is Mail Privacy Protection, a new feature that prevents email marketers from learning information about an iPhone user’s Mail activity.

RelatedApple Ships iOS 15 with MFA Code Generator

RelatedApple Confirms New Zero-Day Attacks on Older iPhones

Related: Apple Ships Urgent Patch for FORCEDENTRY Zero-Days

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a journalist and cybersecurity strategist with more than 20 years experience covering IT security and technology trends. Ryan has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and Kaspersky GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's career as a journalist includes bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.