iOS Exploit Chain

Researchers from Google Project Zero team uncovered a five dangerous iOS exploit chain in wide that can hack almost every iPhone running with iOS 10 to 12 by just trick them to visit the hacked website.

An unknown hacking group targeting iPhone using by implants this exploit chain over 2 years through various hacked websites.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) discovered a collection of hacked websites which is used to attack the iPhone user with iOS exploit by using watering hole attacks against visitors.

Attackers not playing any tough game with website visitors, but just simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device and the successful attack will lead to installing the further implant to monitor your devices.

These 5 iOS exploit chain developed for 14 different vulnerabilities, in which, seven for the iPhone’s web browser, five for the kernel and two separate sandbox escapes vulnerability.

iOS Exploit Chain
Source: Google

Based on the Project zero team analysis, these implants developed to steal private data like iMessages, photos and GPS location in real-time from compromised iPhone.

During the process of analysing these exploits, Google researchers uncovered 2 zero-day vulnerabilities that was unpatched and attackers actively exploited these vulnerabilities.

Google reported this 2 zero-day bug on Feb 1, 2019, to Apple with 7 days deadline to fix the issue which leads Apple to released iOS 12.1.4 and same GBHackers on security published an alert update for an Apple community and warned to apply the patch.

These 0day’s are exploiting the memory corruption vulnerability and an ability to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges in iOS, and another zero-day flow allows gaining elevated privileges.

Ian Beer from Project zero has elaborately described with a detailed write-ups of all five privilege escalation exploit chains including a demo of the implant running on my own devices.

  1. iOS Exploit Chain #1
  2. iOS Exploit Chain #2
  3. iOS Exploit Chain #3
  4. iOS Exploit Chain #4
  5. iOS Exploit Chain #5
  6. JSC Exploits
  7. Implant Teardown

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