Apple Deploys Emergency Patches To Thwart 3 Zero-Day Threats

By   Adeola Adegunwa
Writer , Informationsecuritybuzz | May 19, 2023 01:57 am PST

VulnerabilitiesApple released security patches for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari on Thursday to address three new zero-day issues that are being actively exploited.

The three security issues are.

1. WebKit bug CVE-2023-32409 could allow a hostile actor to escape the Web Content sandbox. Bounds checks were enhanced.

2. WebKit’s out-of-bounds read vulnerability could leak sensitive data when processing web content. Input validation improved it.

3. WebKit’s use-after-free flaw might execute arbitrary code when parsing malicious web content. Memory management enhanced.

Apple recognized Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) and Donncha Ó Cearbhaill of Amnesty International’s Security Lab for disclosing CVE-2023-32409. The other two concerns were reported anonymously.

The Rapid Security Response upgrades iOS 16.4.1 (a) and iPadOS 16.4.1 (a) issued at the start of the month patched CVE-2023-28204 and CVE-2023-32373.

The weaknesses, assaults, and threat actors remain unknown. However, such holes have been used in highly targeted breaches to install mercenary spyware on the computers of dissidents, journalists, and human rights campaigners.

The following devices and operating systems have updates:

  • iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5 – iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 3rd generation, iPad 5th generation, and iPad mini 5th generation.
  • iOS 15.7.6 and iPadOS 15.7.6 – iPhone 6s (all models), iPhone 7, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPad Air 2, iPad mini (4th generation), and iPod touch (7th generation)
  • macOS Ventura 13.4 
  • tvOS 16.5 – Apple TV 4K and HD (all models).
  • watchOS 9.5—Apple Watch Series 4 and later
  • Safari 16.5 – macOS Big Sur/Monterey

Apple has fixed six zero-days since 2023. The corporation fixed a remote code execution WebKit flaw (CVE-2023-23529) in February. Last month, it fixed CVE-2023-28205 and CVE-2023-28206, which permitted code execution with elevated privileges. Lecigne and Ó Cearbhaill reported security flaws.

Why Does Apple Constantly Fix Its Patches?

Apple constantly releases patches and updates to fix vulnerabilities and improve the security of its devices and software. Here are several reasons why Apple is committed to regularly fixing patches:

  1. Security Vulnerabilities: As technology evolves, new security vulnerabilities are discovered. Hackers and cybercriminals continuously search for weaknesses in operating systems and applications to exploit for malicious purposes. By releasing regular patches, Apple addresses these vulnerabilities, effectively minimizing the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats.
  2. Protecting User Data: Apple values the privacy and security of its users’ data. With each patch, the company aims to enhance the protection of personal information stored on its devices and platforms. This includes safeguarding sensitive data such as passwords, financial details, and personal communications from potential attacks.
  3. Operating System Stability: Patches not only focus on security but also address stability issues within the operating system. Bugs, glitches, and other software errors can cause system crashes, slow performance, or unexpected behavior. Regular patching helps improve the overall stability of Apple’s operating systems, providing users with a smoother and more reliable experience.
  4. Responding to Threats: As new security threats emerge, Apple promptly responds by developing and deploying patches. This proactive approach ensures that users are protected against the latest types of attacks, such as malware, ransomware, and phishing attempts. By addressing these threats promptly, Apple reduces the window of opportunity for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities.
  5. Compliance with Industry Standards: Apple adheres to industry best practices and security standards. Regularly releasing patches is part of its commitment to maintaining a secure ecosystem for its users. Protecting user data and maintaining trust in Apple’s products requires compliance with standards and regulations like the PCI DSS and the GDPR.
  6. User Confidence: Timely and consistent patching demonstrates Apple’s dedication to user security. By actively fixing vulnerabilities and addressing issues, Apple reassures its user base that it is actively working to protect them from potential threats. This fosters trust and confidence in Apple’s products and services.
  7. Ongoing Improvement: Patches not only fix existing vulnerabilities but also incorporate enhancements and improvements to Apple’s software and features. Through iterative updates, Apple can introduce new functionalities, refine existing features, and optimize performance, delivering a better user experience.


Apple patched scores of vulnerabilities in its operating systems on Thursday, including three WebKit browser engine zero-days. An unknown researcher identified two active vulnerabilities to the tech giant, CVE-2023-28204 and CVE-2023-32373. If an attacker can deceive a user into processing specially produced online content or visiting a malicious site, they can steal sensitive data and execute malware. 

Apple disclosed in its advisories that its first Rapid Security Response updates—iOS 16.4.1(a), iPadOS 16.4.1(a), and macOS 13.3.1(a)—patched these issues. iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5 solve CVE-2023-28204, CVE-2023-32373, and CVE-2023-32409, a WebKit zero-day that can escape the Web Content sandbox. Google’s Threat Analysis Group and Amnesty International reported CVE-2023-32409 to Apple, suggesting a commercial spyware vendor exploited it. Google revealed multiple iOS and Android exploits tied to malware suppliers. 

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