This week of never-ending security updates continue. Now Apple emits dozens of fixes for iOS, macOS, etc

Make sure your iThing installs these patches

Apple has released a fresh batch of software security updates for its flagship devices.

The July 15 security refresh from Cupertino includes fixes for bugs in iOS, macOS, tvOS, and WatchOS: basically every hardware product from the Cupertino giant. Given the massive patch overload this week, it's a good time to bury bad news.

For iOS and iPadOS the 13.6 update includes fixes for 29 CVE-listed vulnerabilities, 10 involving arbitrary code execution.

Four of those code execution flaws are exploited by playing corrupted audio files (CVE-2020-9888, CVE-2020-9889, CVE-2020-9890, CVE-2020-9891, all found by Ant-financial Light-Year Security Lab researchers JunDong Xie and XingWei Li.)

Code execution was also possible by exploiting AVEVideoEncoder (CVE-2020-9907, from an anonymous researcher), iAP (CVE-2020-9914, found by Andy Davis, British director of security shop NCC Group), ImageIO (CVE-2020-9936, discovered by Mickey Jin of Trend Micro), iOS Kernel (CVE-2020-9923, reported by the alias "Proteas"), and Model I/O (CVE-2020-9878, found by Holger Fuhrmannek of Deutsche Telekom Security).

The WebKit browser engine was the subject of three code execution bugs: CVE-2020-9894 (credited to someone with the alias "0011" working with the Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative), CVE-2020-9893 (also credited to "0011"), and CVE-2020-9895 (credit to Wen Xu of GeorgiaTech's SSLab). In those cases, remote code execution was possible by way of a poisoned web page. These remote code execution bugs sometimes show up as jailbreak exploits, with hackers using the flaws as an inroad to lifting the App Store security restrictions.

A bug in the code

Get rich quick! Work from home! Earn $100,000 easy – just find a critical flaw in Apple's sign-in system


Many of the same issues were addressed in macOS, where the update is known as Catalina 10.15.6 or Security Update 2020-004 (for Mojave and High Sierra users).

They include a code execution bug in CoreAudio (CVE-2020-9866, credit to Yu Zhou and Jundong Xie of Ant-financial Light-Year Security Lab), code execution in Catalina Graphics Drivers (CVE-2020-9799), Mickey Jin's Image I/O flaw, Holger Fuhrmannek's Model I/O code execution bug, a macOS Security code execution flaw found by researcher Alexander Holodny (CVE-2020-9864) and code execution in vim (CVE-2019-20807, found by Guilherme de Almeida Suckevicz.)

Code execution bugs are likely to be less of an issue on the tightly controlled WatchOS (6.2.8) and tvOS (13.4.8) platforms, but you should still install the security updates to be on the safe side. Both fixes will be available via the software update tool.

If your IT admin is seeming a bit grumpy this week, they should be forgiven. The Apple updates are the latest in what has been an epic week for security fixes.

On top of the regularly scheduled Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP Patch Tuesday security updates, we were treated to a massive 443 bug patch bundle from Oracle, a hefty Cisco update release, and of course, the Twitter hackopolypse keeping peeps amused or horrified.

It's a rough week to be overseeing a company's network security. Someone get them a drink or pizza. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022