Jan 06 2022

Apple Home software bug could lock you out of your iPhone

Category: Mobile SecurityDISC @ 10:14 am

A security research called Trevor Spiniolas has just published information about a bug he claims has existed in Apple’s iOS operating system since at least version 14.7.

The bug affects the Home app, Apple’s home automation software that lets you control home devices – webcams, doorbells, thermostats, light bulbs, and so on – that support Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem.

Spiniolas has dubbed the bug doorLock, giving it both a logo and a dedicated web page, claiming that although he disclosed it to Apple back in August 2021, the company’s attempts to patch it so far have been incomplete, and his specified deadline of 01 January 2022 for “going live” with details of the flaw has now passed:

I believe this bug is being handled inappropriately as it poses a serious risk to users and many months have passed without a comprehensive fix. The public should be aware of this vulnerability and how to prevent it from being exploited, rather than being kept in the dark.

You’ll have to make your own mind up about whether this bug truly “poses a serious risk”, but in this article we’ll tell you how to deal with the issue anyway.

The good news is that the bug doesn’t let attackers spy on your phone (or your HomeKit devices), steal data such as passwords or personal messages, install malware, rack up fraudulent online charges, or mess with your network.

Also, there are some easy ways to avoid getting bitten by this bug in the first place while you wait for Apple to come up with a complete fix.

The bad news is that if an attacker does trick you into triggering the bug, you could end up with a phone that’s so unresponsive that you have to do a firmware reset to get back into the device.

And, as you probably already knew – or, if you didn’t, you know now! – using Device Recovery or DFU (a direct firmware update, where you completely reinitialise the firmware of a recalcitrant iDevice over a USB cable) automatically wipes out all your personal data first.

Which devices are affected?

Spiniolas doesn’t say, but we’re assuming that this same bug is present in iPadOS, which has shipped separately from iOS since version 13, though always with a matching version number.

We also don’t know how far back this bug goes: as mentioned above, Spiniolas says “from iOS 14.7”, which we’re guessing is the earliest version he’s been able to test.

Apple doesn’t allow iPhones and iPads to be downgraded, as a way of preventing would-be jailbreakers from reverting to known-buggy iOS versions in order to reintroduce exploitable security holes on purpose.

iOS Application Security

Tags: iOS Application Security, iPhone, Software Bugs


Sep 26 2021

STILL ALIVE! iOS 12 gets 3 zero-day security patches – update now

Category: Mobile Security,Zero dayDISC @ 11:20 am

If you’ve already listened to this week’s Naked Security Podcast you’ll know that we had finally concluded that iOS 12, the version before the version before the latest-and-greatest iOS 15, which arrived this Monday…

…had been dumped forever by Apple.

Apple notoriously won’t tell you anything about the security situation in its products unless and until it has a patch out.

So when iOS 14 got updated in the last couple of patch cycles, but iOS 12 didn’t, we couldn’t tell whether it was still safe and didn’t need the patches, whether it needed the patches but they’d be a bit late, or whether it needed the patches but would never get them.

And with iOS 15 arriving as the new kid on the block this week, we assumed the worst, following the “one-in-one-out” principle.

We haven’t finished because we haven’t even started

iOS Application Security

Tags: iOS 12, iOS Application Security