Apple has recently fixed a security vulnerability with the identification number CVE-2023-23508. This vulnerability enables applications to bypass the Privacy preferences set by the user, potentially compromising the security and privacy of their data. The fix comes in the form of improved memory handling and is included in macOS Ventura 13.2, macOS Monterey 12.6.3, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.3. This long-read will provide a detailed insight into the vulnerability, with references to the original sources, code snippets, and important exploit details.


The problem of bypassing Privacy preferences stems from the way applications handle memory. When an application needs access to protected resources or areas, it needs permission from the user. This permission is generally granted through the Privacy preferences as set by the user. However, the vulnerability CVE-2023-23508 allows applications to bypass these preferences via a flaw in memory handling.

Original References

The original source of the vulnerability can be traced back to the tracking system of the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project, where a detailed description of the problem is provided (Link: Moreover, the Apple security updates webpage also mentions the fix being included in the macOS Ventura 13.2, macOS Monterey 12.6.3, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 updates (Link:

Code Snippet

Below is an example of how an application could potentially exploit this vulnerability, enabling a program to bypass a user's Privacy preferences settings.

import os
import sys

def malicious_app():
    # Bypass privacy preferences by exploiting memory handling flaw
    secret_data = access_protected_memory(address, size)

    # Perform malicious operations on the secret_data
    compromised_data = perform_malicious_operations(secret_data)

    # Send data to attacker

def access_protected_memory(address, size):
    # Malicious code exploiting the security flaw
    return data

def perform_malicious_operations(data):
    # Perform any malicious operation on the data
    return compromised_data

def send_to_attacker(data):
    # Send the compromised data to the attacker

if __name__ == "__main__":

Please note that the code snippet above is an example and should not be utilized for malicious purposes. The intent is to demonstrate the potential risk associated with the vulnerability CVE-2023-23508.

Exploit Details

By exploiting the vulnerability, an attacker can gain unauthorized access to protected resources, bypassing the user's Privacy preferences. The attacker can execute malicious applications that can infiltrate the device's protected memory and potentially leak sensitive information. Moreover, by bypassing the Privacy preferences, the attacker gains an unobstructed way to operate their malicious code within the constraints of the system.


Apple has introduced a fix for the CVE-2023-23508 vulnerability in the macOS Ventura 13.2, macOS Monterey 12.6.3, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 updates. These patches should be installed by users at the earliest to eradicate the risk of unauthorized access to their protected data. By updating their devices, users can ensure that their Privacy preferences effectively block unwanted applications from breaching the security of their device, allowing them peace of mind while using macOS.


Published on: 02/27/2023 20:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 03/04/2023 02:04:00 UTC