Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Apple Ships Urgent iOS Patch for Newly Exploited Zero-Days

The newest iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 patches a pair of code execution flaws that have already been exploited in the wild.

iOS Zero-Day Exploits

Apple on Friday pushed out a major iOS security update to fix a pair of zero-day vulnerabilities already being exploited in the wild.

The newest iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 updates cover code execution software flaws in IOSurfaceAccelerator and WebKit, suggesting a complex exploit chain was detected in the wild hitting the latest iPhone devices.

“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” Cupertino says in a barebones advisory that credits Google and Amnesty International with reporting the issue.

The advisory documents two separate issues — CVE-2023-28205 and CVE-2023-28206 — that expose iPhones and iPads to arbitrary code execution attacks.

Apple described the IOSurfaceAccelerator flaw as an out-of-bounds write issue that was addressed with improved input validation.

The WebKit bug, which has already been exploited via web content to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges, has been fixed with improved memory management.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The company did not say if the newly discovered exploits are capable of bypassing the Lockdown Mode feature that Apple shipped to deter these types of attacks.

The iOS patch comes alongside news from Google that commercial spyware vendors are burning through zero-days to infect mobile devices with surveillance malware.

In one of the two campaigns described by Google this week, an attack started with a link being sent to the targeted user via SMS. When clicked, the link took the victim to malicious websites delivering Android or iOS exploits — depending on the target’s device. Once the exploits were delivered, victims were redirected to legitimate websites, likely in an effort to avoid raising suspicion. 

The iOS exploit chain also hit a WebKit vulnerability (CVE-2022-42856) that Apple patched in iPhones in December 2022. Attacks also involved a Pointer Authentication (PAC) bypass technique, and an exploit for CVE-2021-30900, a sandbox escape and privilege escalation vulnerability that Apple patched in iOS in 2021. 

So far this year, there have been at least 24 documented zero-day vulnerabilities exploited in the wild prior to discovery.

Related: Apple Adds ‘Lockdown Mode’ to Thwart .Gov Mercenary Spyware 

Related: Google Links More iOS, Android Zero-Day Exploits to Spyware Vendors

elated: Can ‘Lockdown Mode’ Solve Apple’s Mercenary Spyware Problem?

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.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


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 Breaches

OpenAI has confirmed a ChatGPT data breach on the same day a security firm reported seeing the use of a component affected by an...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


The latest Chrome update brings patches for eight vulnerabilities, including seven reported by external researchers.


Patch Tuesday: Microsoft warns vulnerability (CVE-2023-23397) could lead to exploitation before an email is viewed in the Preview Pane.


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.

IoT Security

A group of seven security researchers have discovered numerous vulnerabilities in vehicles from 16 car makers, including bugs that allowed them to control car...

IoT Security

A vulnerability affecting Dahua cameras and video recorders can be exploited by threat actors to modify a device’s system time.