Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Application Security

Apple Patches 42 Security Flaws in Latest iOS Refresh

Apple has released a major point-update to its flagship iOS mobile operating system, beefing up app privacy protections and patching at least 42 security defects that expose users to malicious hacker attacks.

Apple has released a major point-update to its flagship iOS mobile operating system, beefing up app privacy protections and patching at least 42 security defects that expose users to malicious hacker attacks.

The new iOS 15.2 makeover from Cupertino documents security vulnerabilities in multiple components, some serious enough to lead to code execution attacks if iPhone or iPad users simply open image or audio files.

According to an Apple advisory released Monday, 24 of the 42 documented CVEs could lead to arbitrary code execution attacks.  The majority are listed as memory corruption, buffer overflows and use-after-free bugs, another confirmation that memory safety issues continue to haunt code shipped in Apple’s wildly popular products.

The code execution issues were confirmed in the following components:  ColorSync, CoreAudio, ImageIO, Model I/O and WebKit.

The WebKit browser engine was among the most vulnerable components with Apple patching at least 12 memory safety issues that could lead to hacking attacks via booby-trapped web content.

[ READ: Apple Adds ‘BlastDoor’ to Secure iPhones From Zero-Click Attacks ]

The iOS 15.2 advisory makes no mention in-the-wild zero-day exploitation of any of the listed CVE entries.  Apple’s hardware products have been a major target for high-end malware attacks with threat hunters documenting at least 17 zero-day attacks hitting macOS or iOS-powered devices.   The majority of these zero-days have been found in iOS and iPadOS devices.

In addition to the security patches, Apple also announced privacy-related enhancements to the mobile OS, noting that ‘App Privacy Report’ in Settings will provide visibility into how often apps have accessed a user’s location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more during the last seven days, as well as the app’s network activity.

The iOS refresh also adds a communication safety setting that gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nudity.

[ READ: Apple Sues NSO Group Over Pegasus iOS Exploitation ]

The new security-themed makeover comes less than a month after Apple filed a lawsuit against Israeli surveillance software maker NSO Group over a series of iOS malware implantation attacks that made headlines around the world.

The lawsuit, filed in Northern California, seeks to hold NSO Group accountable for hacking into Apple’s iOS mobile platform with so-called zero-click exploits to spy on researchers, journalists, activists, dissidents, academics, and government officials.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple also announced it would contribute $10 million to researchers and academic outfits exposing cyber-surveillance abuses.

“To prevent further abuse and harm to its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices,” Apple said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit filing.

Apple accused NSO Group of creating “sophisticated, state-sponsored surveillance technology that allows its highly targeted spyware to surveil its victims.” 

Related: Apple Slaps Lawsuit on NSO Group Over Pegasus iOS Exploitation

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

Related: Apple Ships Urgent Patch for FORCEDENTRY Zero-Days

Written By

Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a security community engagement expert who has built programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. Ryan is a founding-director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Data Protection

The CRYSTALS-Kyber public-key encryption and key encapsulation mechanism recommended by NIST for post-quantum cryptography has been broken using AI combined with side channel attacks.

Data Protection

The cryptopocalypse is the point at which quantum computing becomes powerful enough to use Shor’s algorithm to crack PKI encryption.


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


WASHINGTON - Cyberattacks are the most serious threat facing the United States, even more so than terrorism, according to American defense experts. Almost half...

Application Security

PayPal is alerting roughly 35,000 individuals that their accounts have been targeted in a credential stuffing campaign.


No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.