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Apple iOS v8.x - Message Context & Privacy Vulnerability
Dec 18 2014 12:51PM
Vulnerability Lab (research vulnerability-lab com)
Apple iOS v8.x - Message Context & Privacy Vulnerability
Vulnerability Laboratory ID (VL-ID):
Common Vulnerability Scoring System:
Product & Service Introduction:
iOS (previously iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system developed and distributed by Apple Inc. Originally released in 2007 for
the iPhone and iPod Touch, it has been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPad and Apple TV. Unlike Microsoft`s
Windows Phone (Windows CE) and Google`s Android, Apple does not license iOS for installation on non-Apple hardware. As of
September 12, 2012, Apple`s App Store contained more than 700,000 iOS applications, which have collectively been downloaded more
than 30 billion times. It had a 14.9% share of the smartphone mobile operating system units shipped in the third quarter of 2012,
behind only Google`s Android. In June 2012, it accounted for 65% of mobile web data consumption (including use on both the iPod
Touch and the iPad). At the half of 2012, there were 410 million devices activated. According to the special media event held by
Apple on September 12, 2012, 400 million devices have been sold through June 2012.
The user interface of iOS is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements
consist of sliders, switches, and buttons. Interaction with the OS includes gestures such as swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch,
all of which have specific definitions within the context of the iOS operating system and its multi-touch interface. Internal
accelerometers are used by some applications to respond to shaking the device (one common result is the undo command) or rotating
it in three dimensions (one common result is switching from portrait to landscape mode).
iOS is derived from OS X, with which it shares the Darwin foundation. iOS is Apple`s mobile version of the OS X operating system
used on Apple computers.
In iOS, there are four abstraction layers: the Core OS layer, the Core Services layer, the Media layer, and the Cocoa Touch layer.
The current version of the operating system (iOS 6.1) dedicates 1-1.5 GB of the device`s flash memory for the system partition,
using roughly 800 MB of that partition (varying by model) for iOS itself. iOS currently runs on iPhone, Apple TV, iPod Touch, and iPad.
( Copy of the Homepage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS )
Abstract Advisory Information:
The Vulnerability Laboratory Research Team discovered a local security issue in the official Apple iOS v8.0, v8.0.2 and v8.1.2 mobile operating system.
Vulnerability Disclosure Timeline:
2014-10-19: Researcher Notification & Coordination (Benjamin Kunz Mejri - VL Core Research Team)
2014-10-20: Vendor Notification (Apple Security Team - Acknowledgement Program)
2014-12-16: Public Disclosure (Vulnerability Laboratory)
Product: iOS 8.0.2
Technical Details & Description:
A design issue and a glitch bug has been discovered in the official Apple iOS v8.1.2 mobile device operating system.
The vulnerability allows to use a design misconfiguration in connection with a glitch to compromise device data/information.
During the security tests of the vulnerability laboratory we releaved that the interface allows due to a design flaw that a
local attacker can capture/access temp saved app information. In our testings we used the wickr software and was typing inside
of the users bar a username to chat, then we marked the username word context. After that the local attacker can use siri to glitch
in the exisiting menu back to the pass code screen. By default the internet settings can be disabled or the attacker turns down the
switch. Now the app requires an authorization to access because the task is still running. Ahead to the login the copy mask is glitched
in the process and the attacker can copy the information back to the notepad or anything else. The same trick works well with any input
thats allows to use the menu ahead in an app.
The controls of the interface guess to refresh the app task controls on reactivation which results in a design issue and glitch bug that allows
to compromise for example local information or data. We already informed wickr about the issue but they refered us to the apple security team.
[+] Apple iOS v8.0, v8.1.2 & iOS 8.0.2
[+] iPhone 5, iPhone 5s & iPhone 6
Proof of Concept (PoC):
The local glitch issue can only be exploited by local attackers with physical device access and without user interaction. For security demonstration
or to reproduce the security vulnerability follow the provided information and steps below to continue.
1. Open the wickr app
2. Start to write somebody a messsage but do not send it
3. Mark the message text to get the and push twice to get the message menu context (select, input, define & paste)
Note: Leave the config like it is with the available message menu context
4. Press the siri button next to the keyboard
5. Now press the siri symbole by pushing 2 seconds the home button
6. Make a screenshot by usage of the powerbutton and press only the power button again after it
7. Disable the internet connection by usage of the default menu bar ahead to the pass code login (bottom slidebar)
8. After the disconnect the local attacker login to the pass code
9. Opens the app again
Note: Now the app requires that the user login to get access to the messages
10. Ahead to the task has the message menu context bar glitches and temp saved since a button in the task gets pushed
11. We click to copy the input and switch back to the notepad service. Now we are able to save the information of the app through the glitch.
12. Successful reproduce of the local glitch issue that affects the local app security.
The video demonstration shows how a secure app blocks the access after the internet connection has been canceled.
During a glitch that allows to jump out of the app menu context with siri the issue allows to copy still marked context input.
The researcher demonstrates the issue in the wickr app. He copies in the running task, disconnects and uses a glitch the get
the information of the input without authorization of the app. The glitch can be exploited in conenction with the siri function
but without direct usage.
Solution - Fix & Patch:
The vulnerability can be patched by a app task process refresh of the message mark context menu (select, past, copy & define).
That would provoke that the menu is ever closed when processing to open a secure app that has already been started ago.
The security risk of the security glitch issue in the apple ios is estimated as medium. (CVSS 4.2)
Credits & Authors:
Vulnerability Laboratory [Research Team] - Benjamin Kunz Mejri (bkm (at) evolution-sec (dot) com [email concealed]) [www.vulnerability-lab.com]
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