Friday, January 10, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Project Zero Remote iPhone Exploitation

Samuel Groß (Hacker News):

This is the first blog post in a three-part series that will detail how a vulnerability in iMessage can be exploited remotely without any user interaction on iOS 12.4 (fixed in iOS 12.4.1 in August 2019).

[…]

This research was mainly motivated by the following question: given only a remote memory corruption vulnerability, is it possible to achieve remote code execution on an iPhone without further vulnerabilities and without any form of user interaction? This blog post series shows that this is in fact possible.

[…]

For the purpose of this blog post series, it is important to realize that a vulnerability in the NSKeyedUnarchiver API can generally be triggered in two different contexts: in the sandboxed imagent and in the unsandboxed SpringBoard process (which manages the main iOS UI, including the homescreen).

Samuel Groß (Hacker News):

The initial primitive gained from the vulnerability is an absolute address dereference in which the read value is afterwards used as an ObjC object. As such, some knowledge of the target address space is required in order to exploit this vulnerability for remote code execution. This blog post describes a way to defeat ASLR remotely without any additional information disclosure vulnerabilities.

First off, the effectiveness of an old technique, heap spraying, is evaluated. Afterwards, a technique is described through which it is possible to infer the base address of the dyld shared cache region given only a memory corruption bug. The released code implements the presented attack and can infer the shared cache base address remotely on vulnerable devices within a couple of minutes.

Samuel Groß (Hacker News):

At this point, ASLR has been broken as the shared cache’s base address is known and controlled data can be placed at a known address with the heap spray. What remains is to exploit the vulnerability one more time to gain code execution.

After a short introduction to some relevant ObjC internals, an exploit for devices without pointer authentication (PAC) will be outlined. It involves creating code pointers, so it no longer works with pointer authentication enabled. Afterwards, a different exploit that works against PAC and non-PAC devices will be presented. Finally, a technique to chain the presented attack with a kernel exploit, which involves implementing the kernel exploit in JavaScript, will be shown.

Previously:

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