Security Experts:

Apple Confirms New Zero-Day Attacks on Older iPhones

Apple on Thursday confirmed a new zero-day exploit hitting older iPhones and warned that the security vulnerability also affects the macOS Catalina platform.

This is the 16th documented in-the-wild zero-day exploitation of security defects in Apple’s iOS and macOS platforms so far this year.

“Apple is aware of reports that an exploit for this issue exists in the wild,” the company said without elaborating.  No other details of IOCs (indicators of compromise) were provided.

The Cupertino, Calif. software giant credited researchers at Google with intercepting the new zero-day exploit, which affects a list of older iPhones and iPads running the out-of-support iOS 13 devices like the iPad Air, the iPad mini, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. 

[ READ: Apple Ships iOS 15 with MFA Code Generator ]

Apple dropped support for these older devices since the release of iOS 13 but security fixes are still being released.  

The security vulnerability -- CVE-2021-30869 -- is described as a type confusion issue in XNU, the OS kernel used by macOS and iOS.

“A malicious application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges, the company said in an advisory that credited multiple bug finders with the discovery -- Erye Hernandez of Google Threat Analysis Group, Clément Lecigne of Google Threat Analysis Group, and Ian Beer of Google Project Zero.

The iOS 12.5.5 patch also backports the fixes for the previously documented FORCEDENTRY zero-day exploits. 

Related: Apple Adds 'BlastDoor' to Secure iPhones From Zero-Click Attacks

Related: Secretive Israeli Exploit Company Behind Wave of Zero-Day Exploits

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. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who 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 past career as a security journalist included 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, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.