A recently discovered security vulnerability, known as CVE-2022-32844, has been found in specific Apple devices, such as tvOS, watchOS, and iOS. A race condition, which occurs when multiple operations are being executed simultaneously, has been tackled using enhanced state management methods. This vulnerability could potentially enable a malicious application to bypass Pointer Authentication security measures, granting the app unrestricted kernel read and write abilities.

This post will delve into the details of the CVE-2022-32844 vulnerability, examine code snippets demonstrating the exploit, direct readers to the original sources, and outline the potential risks associated with this vulnerability.

Vulnerability Details

The CVE-2022-32844 vulnerability is associated with Apple's tvOS 15.6, watchOS 8.7, iOS 15.6, and iPadOS 15.6 devices, and it has been assigned a CVE identifier for easy tracking and reference.

When a race condition arises, it typically results in unexpected and erratic behavior in the system. In this particular case, the race condition means that an app with arbitrary kernel read and write abilities can exploit the vulnerability to bypass Pointer Authentication. This can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive information and grant the attacker control over the affected system.

The following code snippet showcases the vulnerability, where a race condition might occur and potentially be exploited:

// Example_CVE-2022-32844.c
#include <stdio.h>

void vulnerable() {
    int *ptr;
    int val;

    // Race condition starts here
    check_permission(ptr); // Contains Pointer Authentication
    *ptr = val;
    // Race condition ends here

int main() {
    // Execute the vulnerable code

    return ;

In this example, the race condition occurs between the check_permission() function call and the actual assignment of a value to the pointer variable. An attacker might exploit this vulnerability to manipulate the state of the system during this small window of opportunity.

Fix and Mitigation

Apple has acknowledged and fixed the issue in its recent updates - tvOS 15.6, watchOS 8.7, iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6. The fix involves improving the state handling mechanism to prevent race conditions and enhances the security of Pointer Authentication. Users are urged to update their devices to the latest versions, ensuring that they are protected against this vulnerability.

For more information on the CVE-2022-32844 vulnerability and the fix implemented by Apple, please refer to the original references:

1. Apple Security Updates
2. CVE-2022-32844 Details


The CVE-2022-32844 vulnerability highlights the importance of continually updating and patching devices to ensure the highest level of security. Thankfully, Apple has quickly addressed the issue and provided fixes for the affected devices. Users should be vigilant and prioritize updating their systems to the most recent versions, keeping their data and devices safe from attacks exploiting the race conditions previously present.


Published on: 02/27/2023 20:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 03/07/2023 21:01:00 UTC