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Apple Patches Keystroke Injection Vulnerability in Magic Keyboard

Apple’s latest Magic Keyboard firmware addresses a recently disclosed Bluetooth keyboard injection vulnerability.

Apple this week announced Magic Keyboard firmware updates that patch a vulnerability potentially allowing attackers to inject keystrokes over Bluetooth.

The issue was disclosed in December by SkySafe software engineer Marc Newlin, who warned that an attacker within Bluetooth range could exploit the bug without authentication.

Newlin warned that an adversary would only need a Linux machine and a normal Bluetooth device to mount the attack, and that Android and Linux devices are also affected.

“A nearby attacker can connect to a vulnerable device over unauthenticated Bluetooth and inject keystrokes to eg. install apps, run arbitrary commands, forward messages, etc.,” Newlin said.

A vulnerable device, he explained, could be tricked into pairing with a fake keyboard without user confirmation, bypassing authentication.

On macOS and iOS, the engineer warned, the attack can be mounted even in Lockdown Mode, if Bluetooth is enabled and Magic Keyboard paired.

“In practice, a Mac is exploitable when the user unplugs their Magic Keyboard after pairing or charging, and an iPhone is exploitable when the user is connecting to their paired Magic Keyboard,” Newlin said.

This week, Apple announced that the issue, tracked as CVE-2024-0230, has been addressed with the release of Magic Keyboard firmware version 2.0.6.

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In its advisory, however, the tech giant makes no mention of this vulnerability being exploitable to perform keystroke injection.

“An attacker with physical access to the accessory may be able to extract its Bluetooth pairing key and monitor Bluetooth traffic,” Apple notes.

The new firmware release is now rolling out for Magic Keyboard, Magic Keyboard (2021), and Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad, Touch ID, or Touch ID and numeric keypad.

If the Magic Keyboard is paired to a macOS, iOS, iPadOS, or tvOS device, the firmware update will be delivered in the background, Apple explains. However, users can also go to System settings on their Macs to check for the update.

According to Newlin, the update indeed appears to address the flaw: “A cursory evaluation was performed, and it appears that Apple has mitigated the CVE-2024-0230 attacks which exploit the Magic Keyboard over Lightning and Bluetooth.”

Related: Apple Ships iOS 17.2 With Urgent Security Patches

Related: Apple Improves iMessage Security With Contact Key Verification

Related: Apple Ships Major iOS, macOS Security Updates

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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