IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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 state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Apple cuts ties with Jony Ive after 30 years
Hardware

Apple cuts ties with Jony Ive after 30 years

13 Jul 2022
Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more
Mobile

Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more

23 Jun 2022
Apple faces a catch-22 decision with iPhones and USB-C
Policy & legislation

Apple faces a catch-22 decision with iPhones and USB-C

8 Jun 2022
Apple overhauls SwiftUI navigation and brings a score of new features to developers at WWDC 2022
software development

Apple overhauls SwiftUI navigation and brings a score of new features to developers at WWDC 2022

7 Jun 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022