A recently discovered vulnerability, CVE-2023-40446, has been found to be affecting multiple Apple devices. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code within user-installed apps if a maliciously crafted input is processed. Thankfully, Apple has issued a fix for this issue by implementing improved memory handling in its updates for macOS Monterey 12.7.1, iOS 16.7.2 and iPadOS 16.7.2, iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1.

In this article, we will discuss the details of CVE-2023-40446, explain the code snippet associated with it, and provide links to the original references where this information is available for further understanding.

CVE-2023-40446: Vulnerability Details

The CVE-2023-40446 vulnerability stems from insufficient memory handling in the affected devices, allowing for the possibility of arbitrary code execution in user-installed apps. More specifically, when processing maliciously crafted input, the improper memory handling can result in a corruption that allows an attacker to execute any code they choose within the context of the targeted app.

Relevant Code Snippet

Here's an example of code that could potentially exploit this vulnerability (note: not actual exploit code):

#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

int main(int argc, char * argv[]) {
  // Maliciously crafted input data
  NSData *maliciousData = ...;

  // Processing in affected devices
  NSObject *vulnerableObject = [[NSObject alloc] initWithContentsOfData:maliciousData options:NSDataReadingMappedIfSafe error:NULL];

  // ... perform further operations with the vulnerableObject

  return ;

In the code snippet above, the NSDataReadingMappedIfSafe option in initWithContentsOfData:options:error: may not properly handle memory when processing the maliciously crafted maliciousData.

Apple's Updated Solution

Apple has addressed this issue with improved memory handling in their recent releases, which include macOS Monterey 12.7.1, iOS 16.7.2 and iPadOS 16.7.2, iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1. These updates will effectively eliminate this vulnerability and protect user-installed apps from the risk of arbitrary code execution.

Original References

More information about this vulnerability, the systems it affects, and the specifics of the Apple updates can be found in these official sources:

- Apple Security Advisory
- CVE Details
- NVD: National Vulnerability Database


It is crucial for Apple device users to stay informed about vulnerabilities like CVE-2023-40446 and their potential impact. Most importantly, users should ensure their devices are updated to macOS Monterey 12.7.1, iOS 16.7.2 and iPadOS 16.7.2, iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1 to protect themselves from possible arbitrary code execution in their user-installed apps. Staying vigilant and proactive in updating your devices is key to maintaining a more secure environment.


Published on: 12/12/2023 01:15:10 UTC
Last modified on: 12/13/2023 20:56:06 UTC