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Apple Warns of macOS Kernel Zero-Day Exploitation

Apple’s security response engine revved into high gear Monday with patches for security defects in a wide range of products, including fixes for a pair of critical macOS kernel vulnerabilities already being exploited in the wild.

Apple’s security response engine revved into high gear Monday with patches for security defects in a wide range of products, including fixes for a pair of critical macOS kernel vulnerabilities already being exploited in the wild.

Apple acknowledged the macOS zero-days in an advisory but did not share technical details or indicators of compromise to help defenders hunt for signs of infections.

The two vulnerabilities — CVE-2022-32894 and CVE-2022-32917 — affect macOS Big Sur and were reported to Cupertino by an anonymous researcher. “An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the company warned.

Apple said the bugs were addressed with improved bounds checks.

[ READ: Can ‘Lockdown Mode’ Solve Apple’s Mercenary Spyware Problem ]

The macOS Big Sur 11.7 update also covers eight additional security flaws, some serious enough to expose Apple customers to code execution attacks and privacy bypasses.

Apple also released iOS 16 with fixes for a dozen documented security vulnerabilities.  Interestingly, the CVE-2022-32917 kernel flaw is listed among the iOS fixes but Apple did not flag this as being exploited in the wild.

The iOS 16 update covers security holes in Contacts, Kernel, Maps, MediaLibrary, Safari, Safari Extensions, Shortcuts and WebKit.

The Cupertino software vendor also released Safari 16 with patches for four separate vulnerabilities that expose users to code execution, user tracking or UI spoofing attacks.

The company also released security-themed updates to tvOS, watcOS, macOS Monterey, and older versions of iOS and Safari.

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

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

Related: Apple Patches 42 Security Flaws in Latest iOS Refresh

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.

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