iPhone Contacts App Vulnerable To SQLite Hack

iPhone Contacts App Vulnerability
iPhone Contacts App Vulnerability

If you are using an iPhone and thinking that it is the most secured device, then you are Wrong!

The Check point security researcher found the vulnerability in the iPhone Contacts App.

And the best part as per research, the bug has not been fixed last four years. Apple thought its severity is low, but it’s not. The bug can manipulate the Apple iOS contacts App to run malicious code.

What is SQLite?

SQLite is a popular choice as embedded database software for local/client storage in application software such as web browsers. It is arguably the most widely deployed database engine, as it is used today by several widespread browsers, operating systems, and embedded systems (such as mobile phones), among others. SQLite has bindings to many programming languages.

“Wait, what? How come a 4-year-old bug has never been fixed? It is actually an interesting story and a great example of our argument. This feature was only ever considered vulnerable in the context of a program that allows arbitrary SQL from an untrusted source (Web SQL), and so it was mitigated accordingly. However, SQLite usage is so versatile that we can actually still trigger it in many scenarios,” said Checkpoint researcher.

As per reported by Apple Insider,
In other words, the bug has been considered unimportant because it was believed it could only be triggered by an unknown application accessing the database, and in a closed system like iOS, there are no unknown apps. However, Check Point’s researchers then managed to make a trusted app send the code to trigger this bug and exploit it.

They replaced a specific component of the Contacts app and found that while apps and any executable code has to have gone through Apple’s startup checks, an SQLite database is not executable.

CheckPoint said in the conclusion,

“Using our innovative techniques of Query Hijacking and Query Oriented Programming, we proved that memory corruption issues in SQLite can now be reliably exploited. As our permissions hierarchies become more segmented than ever, it is clear that we must rethink the boundaries of trusted/untrusted SQL input.

To demonstrate these concepts, we achieved remote code execution on a password stealer backend running PHP7 and gained persistency with higher privileges on iOS. We believe that these are just a couple of use cases in the endless landscape of SQLite.”

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