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Google’s Project Zero Discloses Three OS X Yosemite Vulnerabilities With Proof-Of-Concept Exploit Code

Project Zero, Google’s security team, unveiled the existence of three high severity security vulnerabilities contained within Apple’s latest operating system, OS X Yosemite.

CNET notes in a report that while the vulnerabilities all require access to a targeted Mac, all of them could contribute to a successful attempt to escalate privileges on a machine.

The vulnerabilities, which have yet to be fixed, allow users with prior access through pre-existing accounts on machines running Yosemite to exploit the recently disclosed holes in the operating system to escalate account access to root (or administrator), effectively taking over the machine.

Each vulnerability disclosed by Google’s elite security team, Project Zero, includes a proof-of-concept exploit.

Project Zero, which was officially launched by Google back in mid-2014, reported the OS X Yosemite vulnerabilities to Apple back in October, however, the flaws were not fixed and have subsequently been automatically released to the public 90 days after their existence was reported to the vendor.

The three vulnerabilities discovered within the latest installment of Apple’s newest operating system are as follows:

  1. OS X privilege escalation due to XPC type confusion in sysmond — The team’s description indicated that the exploit code had been tested on OS X 10.9.5 and that it employed liblorgnette to resolve some private symbols. The team included build code to aid in execution of the PoC code. This vulnerability was discovered by user “ianbeer” and reported on October 7, 2014.
  2. OS X IOKit kernal code execution due to NULL pointer dereference in IntelAccelerator – The discoverer, “ianbeer” of the Project Zero team, created what he referred to as “a little program” which when executed would exploit the vulnerability to obtain root. Arbitrary code execution is a major security concern, as is made apparent by the PoC exploit code, can result in a completely compromised system.
  3. OS X IOKit Kernal memory corruption due to bad bzero in IOBluetoothDevice – Also found by “ianbeer” of ProjectZero, this vulnerability requires a Bluetooth device to be connected. Reported on October 23, 2014.

Project Zero was created by Google with the intent of uncovering software flaws with the potential of leading to targeted attacks on people’s computers.

Are you surprised to find that Apple did not patch vulnerabilities of this severity prior to Google’s public disclosure of the vulnerabilities and their exploit code?

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