HomeKit vulnerability in iOS discovered

A security researcher has revealed an iOS vulnerability that uses HomeKit as an attack vector and involves very long device names.

apple homekit services

The security breach was revealed to Apple in August 2021, to be made public on January 1, concerns the HomeKit platform and affects iOS and iPadOS devices.

According to security researcher Trevor Spiniolas, if the name of a HomeKit device is changed to a very long string, set to 500,000 characters on test devices, iOS and iPadOS devices that load the string may be restarted and rendered unusable. . Also, since the name is stored in iCloud and updated on all other iOS devices in the same account, the bug may reappear repeatedly.

Spiniolas called the bug ” Doollock And claims it affects all iOS 14 devices the researcher tested. As with iOS 15, the latest version of the operating system places a limit on the length of a name that an app or user can set, but that name can still be updated from previous versions of iOS. and affect all devices via updated iCloud. If the bug is triggered on an iOS version with no limit and shares HomeKit data, all devices will be affected by the bug.

The bug causes some HomeKit related functions to crash, and in some cases (when at least one HomeKit device is registered in Control Center), it also renders the iOS and iPadOS devices involved unusable. A restart does not solve the problem, since the only solution is to restore the iPhone or iPad. However, restoring and re-registering the same iCloud account will trigger the bug again with the same effects as listed.

The researcher specifies that this bug can also be exploited via an application with access to personal data. Additionally, it is possible for a hacker to send invitations to another user’s home, even if the target does not have HomeKit devices.

Trevor Spiniolas claims that the worst-case scenario – iPhone and iPad freezing – can be avoided by turning off home devices from the control center. To do this, you need to go to Settings> Control Center and deactivate the item “Show house orders”, even if it is enough to pay attention to the invitations received and related to the entry on the home networks of ‘other users, especially those coming from unknown contacts.

The researcher claims he reported the bug to Apple on August 10, with the company promising an update by the end of 2021. However, no fixes have yet been released and a corrective update is only expected ” during 2022 ”.

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