Apple on Monday rolled out an urgent security update for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to address a zero-day flaw that it said may have been actively exploited, making it the thirteenth such vulnerability Apple has patched since the start of this year.
The updates, which arrive less than a week after the company released iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, and macOS Big Sur 11.5 to the public, fixes a memory corruption issue (CVE-2021-30807) in the IOMobileFrameBuffer component, a kernel extension for managing the screen framebuffer, that could be abused to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges.
The company said it addressed the issue with improved memory handling, noting it's "aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited." As is typically the case, additional details about the flaw have not been disclosed to prevent the weaponization of the vulnerability for additional attacks. Apple credited an anonymous researcher for discovering and reporting the vulnerability.
The timing of the update also raises questions about whether the zero-day had any role in compromising iPhones using NSO Group's Pegasus software, which has become the focus of a series of investigative reports that have exposed how the spyware tool turned mobile phones of journalists, human rights activists, and others into portable surveillance devices, granting complete access to sensitive information stored in them.
CVE-2021-30807 is also the thirteenth zero-day vulnerability addressed by Apple this year alone, including —
Given the public availability of a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit, it's highly recommended that users move quickly to update their devices to the latest version to mitigate the risk associated with the flaw.