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Apple Patches Dangerous KRACK Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities

Written by  Nov 01, 2017

Apple on Tuesday released a new set of security patches for its products, including fixes for Wi-Fi vulnerabilities disclosed in mid October.

The security flaws can be exploited as part of a novel attack technique called KRACK, short for Key Reinstallation Attack, which could allow an actor within wireless range of a victim to access information assumed to be safely encrypted. The attacker could exfiltrate sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and more.

The issues were found in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and all correct implementations of WPA2 were assumed to be affected. Industrial networking devices are impacted too, including products from Cisco, Rockwell Automation and Sierra Wireless. Vendors rushed to release patches after being informed on the bugs several months ago.

The KRACK-related vulnerability impacting iOS devices is tracked as CVE-2017-13080 and was addressed in iOS 11.1, for iPhone 7 and later, and iPad Pro 9.7-inch (early 2016) and later, Apple notes in an advisory.

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iOS 11.1 resolves an additional 19 vulnerabilities impacting components such as CoreText, Kernel, Messages, Siri, StreamingZip, UIKit, and WebKit. These bugs could lead to arbitrary code execution, information disclosure, or to the modification of restricted areas of the file system.

WebKit was the most affected component, with 13 vulnerabilities addressed in it (10 of the issues were reported by Ivan Fratric of Google Project Zero). The bugs could lead to arbitrary code execution when processing maliciously crafted web content and were addressed through improved memory handling.

The same KRACK-related vulnerability was addressed in tvOS 11.1 and watchOS 4.1 as well. The former resolves 17 flaws in the platform, while the latter patches only 4 issues.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 includes patches for three KRACK-related flaws, namely CVE-2017-13077, CVE-2017-13078, and CVE-2017-13080.

The new platform iteration resolves an additional 145 vulnerabilities impacting components such as apache, APFS, AppleScript, Audio, CoreText, curl, Fonts, HFS, ImageIO, Kernel, libarchive, Open Scripting Architecture, Quick Look, QuickTime, Sandbox, and tcpdump.

An attacker exploiting these flaws could execute arbitrary code on the system, modify restricted areas of the file system, read kernel memory, leak sensitive user information, or cause denial of service. Some of the flaws could allow malicious apps to read restricted memory.

The most affected component was tcpdump, with 90 vulnerabilities addressed in it. Other components that saw a large number of issues addressed in them include apache, with 12 bugs, and Kernel, with 11 flaws.

Apple also released Safari 11.1 this week with patches for 14 issues, along with iTunes 12.7.1 for Windows and iCloud for Windows 7.1, each meant to address 13 issues. All three application releases resolve the aforementioned 13 vulnerabilities in WebKit.

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