Tracked as CVE-2023-38606, the flaw resides in the kernel and allows a malicious app to potentially modify sensitive kernel state. The company said this has been addressed with improved state management.
“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may be actively exploited against versions of iOS released prior to iOS 15.7.1,” the tech giant said in its advisory.
It’s worth noting that CVE-2023-38606 is the third security vulnerability discovered in connection with Operation Triangulation, a sophisticated mobile cyber espionage campaign that has been targeting iOS devices since 2019 using a zero-click exploit chain. The other two zero-days, CVE-2023-32434 and CVE-2023-32435, were patched by Apple last month.
Kaspersky researchers Valentin Pashkov, Mikhail Vinogradov, Georgy Kucherin, Leonid Bezvarshenko, and Boris Larin are credited with discovering and reporting the flaw.
The updates are available for the following devices and operating systems –
- iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 – iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later
- iOS 15.7.8 and iPadOS 15.7.8 – iPhone 6s (all models), iPhone 7 (all models), iPhone SE (1st generation), iPad Air 2, iPad mini (4th generation), and iPod Touch (7th generation)
- macOS Ventura 13.5, macOS Monterey 12.6.8, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.9
- tvOS 16.6 – Apple TV 4K (all models) and Apple TV HD, and
- watchOS 9.6 – Apple Watch Series 4 and later
With the latest round of patches, Apple has resolved a total of 11 zero-days affecting its software since early 2023. This comes two weeks after the company published an emergency fix for a remote code execution bug in WebKit that could lead to arbitrary code execution (CVE-2023-37450).