Zero-day vulnerabilities allow hacking the iOS Mail application, or even the entire system. These vulnerabilities are already exploited by hackers. A patch is under development and will be available soon.
General alert for iPhone and iPad users. Security researchers at ZecOps uncovered two zero-day vulnerabilities in the iOS Mail application during a computer forensic survey of a customer, allowing the execution of arbitrary code remotely. These vulnerabilities exist in all versions of iOS released since 2012 and have not yet been patched. They have been exploited since at least January 2018 by a group of hackers probably of state origin. ZecOps researchers were able to identify victims in North America, Japan, Germany, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
A very stealthy hack
These attacks are powerful because they are particularly silent. To be hacked on iOS 13, it is sufficient that the Mail application is open in the background and that the targeted user receives an e-mail. No user action is required. On iOS 12, it’s a bit more complicated. To perform a zero-click attack, hackers must be able to control the server from which the trapped email is sent. Otherwise, for the exploit to run, you have to encourage the user to simply open the trapped e-mail, which is not necessarily very complicated either.
If the attack goes well, the victim sees only fire. ” Aside from a temporary slowdown of the email client, users should not see any abnormal behavior “Say the researchers in a blog note. Signs appear, however, if the attack does not work. On iOS 12, this causes the email client to crash. On iOS 13, the victim will see messages without any content. What to put the chip in the ear.
What is the risk of such an attack? By hacking the Mail app, hackers can read, modify, and delete any email from the email client. If the attacker has more than one flaw in the kernel, he could exit the context of the application and take control of the device. ZecOps researchers believe that the hacker group in question has this capability. The potential risk would therefore be “enormous”, they stress.
Alerted by ZecOps, Apple has already written a patch which has been integrated into the beta version of iOS 13.4.5. Until this update is available, there are no 36 ways to protect yourself: do not use the Mail application, but turn to another email client, for example Outlook or Gmail.
Technically, the flaws are linked to bugs in the MFMutableData function of the MIME library. To use them, for example, you just have to send an e-mail of a certain size. Due to a lack of safeguards, it is then possible to access unauthorized memory areas (Out of bound write) or to cause a heap overflow.
Source : ZecOps