05-April-2024, min readtime

Ethical hacker Computest Security finds another vulnerability in Apple's macOS

Earlier, Thijs Alkemade, an ethical hacker at Computest Security, presented a serious vulnerability he found in Apple's macOS at the largest international hacker conferences Black Hat and DEF CON. It was a 'process injection vulnerability'. Now, Alkemade has once again found a 'process injection' vulnerability in the macOS operating system.

Impact of 'process injection' vulnerability

The recently discovered vulnerability is of the same type as the one Thijs Alkemade previously reported to Apple. Through both vulnerabilities, multiple security measures within macOS could be bypassed, allowing malicious software to gain access to all sensitive data on the computer. Normally, an application on a Mac cannot easily access sensitive data, but the user must give permission when, for example, it wants access to the webcam or the user's documents. These two vulnerabilities made it possible to completely bypass these permissions and gain access to all data.

Because it involves a design flaw in an important component of macOS, it took a long time for this vulnerability to be addressed. In October 2022, Apple released a solution with macOS 13.0 (Ventura), but it was found to be relatively easy to bypass.


Technical information

Now that the vulnerability in macOS has truly been resolved, Thijs Alkemade has published the technical details. In his blog, he describes his process and what he discovered.

Award-winning hacks

Thijs Alkemade's research into macOS is part of an impressive track record. Together with his colleagues Daan Keuper and Khaled Nassar, he focuses entirely on research in their own lab at Computest Security. They have already achieved several award-winning hacks. Alkemade and Keuper have won the international hack competition Pwn2Own three times by hacking Zoom, demonstrating vulnerabilities in industrial control systems and charging stations. They have also exposed vulnerabilities in various cars from the Volkswagen Group.

  • Read more information about the 'process injection' vulnerability in macOS and the research in this blog.
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