A critical security vulnerability, CVE-2023-42845, was discovered which allows unauthorized users to access the content of the Hidden Photos Album on devices running certain versions of macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. This article will cover the details of the vulnerability, discuss the code snippet associated with the exploit, and provide links to original references and patches. The vulnerability stems from an authentication issue which has been addressed by improved state management in recent updates.

Exploit Details

The vulnerability allows users without required authentication to access and view the content of the hidden photos album. The exploit leverages the poor state management when handling user access to these albums, allowing unauthorized access. This issue is critical since it grants potential attackers the ability to view private photos without the owner's consent.

It's important to note that this issue has been fixed in macOS Sonoma 14.1, iOS 17.1, and iPadOS 17.1.

Here's a simplified code snippet that demonstrates the vulnerability

from photos_manager import HiddenAlbum, User

def check_authentication(user: User) -> bool:
    # Code for authenticating user

def view_hidden_album(user: User) -> HiddenAlbum:
    authenticated = check_authentication(user)

    if authenticated:
        album = HiddenAlbum.get_album()
        return album
        return None

user = User.get_unauthenticated_user()
hidden_photos = view_hidden_album(user)

if hidden_photos:
    print("The exploit successfully accessed the hidden album.")
    print("The exploit failed.")

In this example, the view_hidden_album function returns a HiddenAlbum object without checking authenticated state. Unauthorized users are granted access as the function does not raise an error when authentication fails.

Official References

For more information about CVE-2023-42845 and the related security update, please refer to the official Apple security update documentation:

1. Official Apple macOS Security Update
2. Official Apple iOS Security Update
3. Official Apple iPadOS Security Update

Apply Patches

If you are running macOS Sonoma 14.1, iOS 17.1, or iPadOS 17.1, your device is already protected from CVE-2023-42845. However, if you have not updated your device to the latest version, follow these steps to update and secure your device:


CVE-2023-42845 is an important security vulnerability that allows unauthorized users to access the Hidden Photos Album on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. It is crucial to update your devices to the latest software versions in order to ensure protection against this issue. Following the provided steps above will help maintain the security and privacy of your photos and other sensitive data.


Published on: 10/25/2023 19:15:10 UTC
Last modified on: 11/02/2023 18:08:38 UTC