IOS HomeKit Zero Day Lets Attackers Remotely Access Your Smart Home

Apple Home Kit security bug in iOS 11.2

The tvOS and watchOS updates were released on December 4 and 5, respectively, and contain the same fixes: for the aforementioned kernel bugs and a memory corruption issue in IOSurface, which could have allowed a malicious application to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. The bug, which was initially spotted by 9to5Mac, reportedly made it possible for an outside party to access things like smart locks and garage doors. Other issues in this category were fixed server-side from Apple so end users needed to take no action.

According to 9To5Mac, the site that first broke the story, the vulnerability is hard to recreate. Apple has already put in a server-side fix that rectifies the issue, but the fix also disables remote access to shared users. It describes the bug as "difficult to reproduce", but said that it potentially "allowed unauthorized control of HomeKit-connected accessories including smart lights, thermostats, and plugs".

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The disclosure of another bad security flaw comes at a awful time for Apple. But it may highlight concerns around smart home functionality, as users connecting more pieces of their home to an ecosystem like HomeKit, Assistant or Alexa. Just last week, developers found a major flaw in macOS High Sierra that allowed anyone to gain root access to a locked Mac, using no advanced knowledge and seconds of physical access to the machine. Apple says that the reduced functionality will be restored with an iOS 11.2 update next week.

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