Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Application Security

Apple Ships Urgent Patch for FORCEDENTRY Zero-Days

Apple on Monday rolled out fixes for a pair of iOS and macOS security defects alongside a warning that these issues belong in the “actively exploited” zero-day category.

Apple on Monday rolled out fixes for a pair of iOS and macOS security defects alongside a warning that these issues belong in the “actively exploited” zero-day category.

As is customary, Apple did not provide any additional details on the live attacks beyond crediting Citizen Lab for one of the discoveries, a major clue the patch covers the FORCEDENTRY zero-click malware attacks seen targeting political activists in Bahrain.

The FORCEDENTRY attacks, documented here by Citizen Lab, includes an iOS zero-click exploit for iMessage that bypasses Apple’s ‘BlastDoor’ sandbox to plant the Pegasus spyware on iPhones.

Here’s how Apple documents the two vulnerabilities on its flagship iOS mobile platforms:

  • CoreGraphics: (available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) — Processing a maliciously crafted PDF may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited. An integer overflow was addressed with improved input validation. CVE-2021-30860: The Citizen Lab
  • WebKit: (available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) — Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.A use after free issue was addressed with improved memory management. CVE-2021-30858: an anonymous researcher.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple also confirmed these critical flaws extend to the macOS platform with patches issued separately for macOS Big Sur 11.6, and macOS Catalina.

[ READ: New iOS Zero-Click Exploit Defeats Apple ‘BlastDoor’ Sandbox ]

Citizen Lab, which is connected to the University of Toronto, said the FORCEDENTRY exploit was used to plant the Pegasus malware on the iPhones of nine Bahrani human rights activists between June 2020 and February 2021.

Citizen Lab said crash logs from infected iPhones show the existence of two separate iMessage zero-click exploits — KISMET aimed at iOS 13.5.1 devices, and FORCEDENTRY targeting the newest iOS 14 devices.

“We saw the FORCEDENTRY exploit successfully deployed against iOS versions 14.4 and 14.6 as a zero-day,” Citizen Lab said.

The report documents the cat-and-mouse game being played as Apple struggles to lock down its devices from these types of attacks that do not require the victim clicking or interacting with any content.

There have been 64 documented zero-day attacks so far in 2021.  According to data reviewed by SecurityWeek, 15 of the 64 zero-days targeted security problems in Apple’s iOS and macOS operating systems.

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 Emergency Fixes for Under-Attack iOS Zero-Day

Related: Apple Patches ‘Actively Exploited’ Mac, iOS Security Flaw

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.