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Apple’s T2 chip has an unfixable vulnerability that could allow root access

Apple macOS devices with Intel processors and a T2 chip are vulnerable to an unfixable exploit that could give attackers root access, a cybersecurity researcher claims.

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Apple’s T2 chip has an unfixable vulnerability that could allow root access By Mike Peterson

Credit: Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The T2 chip, present in most modern macOS devices, is an Apple silicon co-processor that handles boot and security operations, along with disparate features such as audio processing. Niels H., an independent security researcher, indicates that the T2 chip has a serious flaw that can’t be patched.

According to Niels H., since the T2 chip is based on an Apple A10 processor, it’s vulnerable to the same checkm8 exploit that affects iOS-based devices. That could allow attackers to circumvent activation lock and carry out other malicious attacks.

Normally, the T2 chip will exit with a fatal error if it detects a decryption call when in DFU mode. However, the exploit can be paired with another vulnerability developed by Pangu that can circumvent the DFU exit security mechanism.

Once an attacker gains access to the T2 chip, they will have full root access and kernel execution privileges. Although they can’t decrypt files protected by FileVault encryption, they can inject a keylogger and steal passwords since the T2 chip manages keyboard access.

The vulnerability could also…

Mike Peterson

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