June 19, 2021

Critical updates for Apple TV and iOS available

Apple-logo(LiveHacking.Com) – Apple has released critical security updates for two of its most popular operating systems – Apple TV and iOS. The two operating systems, one which powers Apple’s TV media box and the other which powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, are closely related and based on much of the same code.

Apple TV

Apple TV 5.2.1 addresses several critical security issues including problems which could allow a local user to execute unsigned code, to to determine the address of structures in the kernel or to execute arbitrary code in the kernel. All of which are potentially serious security vulnerabilities. The details of the update, which is available for Apple TV 2nd generation and above, are as follows:

  1. A state management issue existed in the handling of Mach-O executable files with overlapping segments. This issue was addressed by refusing to load an executable with overlapping segments.
  2. An information disclosure issue existed in the ARM prefetch abort handler. This issue was addressed by panicking if the prefetch abort handler is not being called from an abort context.
  3. The IOUSBDeviceFamily driver used pipe object pointers that came from userspace. This issue was addressed by performing additional validation of pipe object pointers.

Apple TV devices will periodically check for software updates. However you can force a manual check and update by selecting “Settings -> General -> Update Software”. To check the current version of software, select “Settings -> General -> About”.


iOS 6.3.1 has been released for iPhone 3GS and later, iPod touch (4th generation) and later and iPad 2 and later. The iOS update contains the three updates listed for Apple TV plus fixes for flaws that could allow a local user to change permissions on arbitrary files or bypass the screen lock. There is also a webkit fix for a problem where visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. The additional details are:

  1. When restoring from backup, lockdownd changed permissions on certain files even if the path to the file included a symbolic link. This issue was addressed by not changing permissions on any file with a symlink in its path.
  2. A logic issue existed in the handling of emergency calls from the lock screen. This issue was addressed through improved lock state management.
  3. An invalid cast issue existed in the handling of SVG files. This issue was addressed through improved type checking.