Apple fixes three macOS flaws under active attack

The patches come days after execs lamented the 'unacceptable' volume of Mac malware

Apple has issued a patch to fix multiple vulnerabilities across its various platforms including iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and Safari, including a macOS Big Sur zero-day vulnerability under active attack.

The exploited macOS flaw, tracked as CVE-2021-30713, lies in Apple's Transparency, Consent and Control (TCC) framework, which manages user consent for permissions across local apps. Apple, however, declined to share the exploit mechanism or the effects of successful exploitation. The company fixed the bug with improved validation. 

Security firm Jamf, however, noted in a post that the bug has been exploited by the malware known as XCSSET, discovered in August 2020 by Trend Micro. The flaw can be exploited to grant malicious apps permissions including full disk access and access to screen recording, meaning hackers can take screenshots of infected machines. 

The news comes shortly after Apple's head of software, Craig Federighi, said that macOS suffers from an "unacceptable" level of malware, which he blamed on the diversity in the sources of software. He was delivering testimony during the Epic Games vs Apple trial.

The XCSSET malware had initially targeted developers by infecting Xcode projects as a means of spreading through Github repositories. The malware is unique in the way that it's been written in AppleScript, which allows it to control script-enabled Mac applications. 

Related Resource

Four ransomware resiliency challenges you can combat with confidence

The benefits of a multi-layered security solution

Windows of a high rise building - Four ransomware resiliency challenges you can combat with confidence - whitepaper from VeritasDownload now

The malware initially abused two zero-day exploits when it was first discovered, one to steal Safari browser cookies and another to bypass prompts to install a developer version of Safari on a targeted device. Jamf has confirmed that XCSSET is also abusing the TCC flaw.

Alongside this bug, Apple has patched CVE-2021-30663 and CVE-2021-30665, both lying in the WebKit browser engine in Safari and Apple TV, and both under attack. 

The former is described as an integer overflow issue that can lead to remote code execution attacks when processing malicious web content. The latter is described as a memory corruption bug that can also lead to remote code execution attacks.

These three flaws have been patched alongside a handful of vulnerabilities, which are outlined in Apple's latest security update. They include flaws in AMD chips, the login window and the Intel graphics driver, among other areas.

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

IT Pro News in Review: MacBook refresh, Facebook creating jobs and facial recognition in schools
Hardware

IT Pro News in Review: MacBook refresh, Facebook creating jobs and facial recognition in schools

22 Oct 2021
Apple unveils redesigned MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, M1 Max chips
Laptops

Apple unveils redesigned MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, M1 Max chips

18 Oct 2021
Apple reportedly slashes iPhone 13 production due to chip crisis
components

Apple reportedly slashes iPhone 13 production due to chip crisis

13 Oct 2021
Apple expected to unveil MacBook Pro revamp at 18 October event
Laptops

Apple expected to unveil MacBook Pro revamp at 18 October event

13 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021