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Perception Point Discovers a MacOS Zero-day Allowing Attackers to Bypass Apple’s System Integrity Protection

January 2022 by Perception Point

Perception Point announced that its researchers have uncovered a zero-day flaw in macOS. CVE-2022-22583, now fixed in macOS Monterey 12.2, reveals a vulnerability that allows attackers to bypass Apple’s SIP (System Integrity Protection) mechanism, and thus take full control over the system, provided that they already managed to achieve code execution with high privileges.

SIP is a security mechanism in macOS which represents the final protection layer between an attacker and full control of the system. Introduced by Apple on macOS 10.11 (2015), it has the objective of protecting the system as a whole, and limiting even highest privilege users, such as root users, from performing potentially malicious actions such as overwriting system files, loading a malicious kernel driver, installing malware and more.

The discovered zero-day is a successor to CVE-2021-30892, published by Microsoft last October. This CVE was named “Shrootless” and was fixed on macOS Monterey 12.0.1.

The zero-day was discovered as part of Perception Point’s ongoing research work to fortify its patented dynamic scanning technology, the HAP™ (hardware-assisted platform), which combines CPU-level data with innovative software algorithms to rapidly intercept any type of exploit, in both Windows and Mac operating systems.

“Attackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are attempting to find exploits and vulnerabilities that are OS-specific,” said Shlomi Levin, CTO at Perception Point. “With the growing popularity of Mac computers, it is imperative to be able to intercept content-borne threats on both Windows and macOS to fully protect the organization.”




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