Apple fixes CVE-2020-9859 zero-day used in recent Unc0ver jailbreak

Pierluigi Paganini June 02, 2020

This week Apple released security patches to address the CVE-2020-9859 zero-day vulnerability that had been used to jailbreak iPhones devices.

Apple released security patches to address the CVE-2020-9859 zero-day vulnerability in the iOS kernel that had been used to jailbreak iPhones.

The flaw was discovered by a team of cyber-security researchers and hackers that also released a new jailbreak package dubbed Unc0ver (from the name of the team that devised it) that works on all recent iOS versions.

Jailbreaking an iOS mobile device it is possible to remove hardware restrictions implemented by the Apple’s operating system, Jailbreaking gives users root access to the iOS file system and manager, this allows them to download and install applications and themes from third-party stores.

By default, Apple does not allow users to have full control over their iPhones and other iOS devices, citing security reasons.

The Unc0ver team released Unc0ver 5.0.0, the latest version of their jailbreak, which can root and unlock all iOS devices, even those running the latest iOS v13.5.

The jailbreak exploits a the CVE-2020-9859 zero-day in the iOS operating system that was discovered by Pwn20wnd, a member of the Unc0ver team, and that has yet to be addressed by Apple.

Pwn20wnd states that #unc0ver v5.0.0 will be a big milestone for jailbreaking because it is the first zero-day jailbreak released since iOS 8 that was released in September 2014.

The Unc0ver team tested the jailbreak on iOS 11 through iOS 13.5, the software did not work on iOS versions 12.3 to 12.3.2 and 12.4.2 to 12.4.5.

What makes this jailbreak outstanding is that according to Pwn20wnd it doesn’t impact Apple’s iOS security features.

According to the CERT Coordination Center, the kernel vulnerability could allow a malicious application to achieve unsandboxed, kernel-level code execution and the jailbreak works on modern iOS devices that use a CPU that supports Pointer Authentication Code (PAC), which indicates that PAC does not prevent exploitation of this vulnerability.

Now Apple addressed the vulnerability and revealed that the root cause of the flaw was memory consumption.

Apple released iOS 13.5.1 and iPadOS 13.5.1 version for iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch 7th generation.

The IT giant also released security updates for macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 and macOS Catalina 10.15.5 (macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Supplemental Update, Security Update 2020-003 High Sierra), Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD (tvOS 13.4.6), and Apple Watch Series 1 and later (watchOS 6.2.6) to patch the vulnerability.

Pwn20wnd confirmed that iOS 13.5.1 addressed the vulnerability exploited by their jailbreak.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Apple, jailbreak)

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