Apple Patches Recent Sudo Vulnerability in macOS


Apple on Tuesday released macOS security updates to patch a recently disclosed vulnerability in the Sudo utility.

Present in most Unix- and Linux-based operating systems out there, Sudo is a tool that allows users to execute programs with the privileges of another user, which by default is superuser.

Disclosed during the last week of January 2021, the vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2021-3156, but it’s also called Baron Samedit, and it has been lurking in Sudo since July 2011.

The security flaw could be abused to escalate privileges to root, even with default Sudo configurations. Qualys’ security researchers, who identified the bug, prompted users to apply available patches as soon as possible.

The issue would expose systems to complete compromise, given that it could allow an attacker able to access a machine as a low-privileged user to gain root privileges.

Sudo v1.9.5p2 resolves the vulnerability, and Apple has addressed the flaw by updating the tool to the patched version. The vulnerability was also found to affect multiple Cisco products.

Apple this week released macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Supplemental Update, and macOS Mojave 10.14.6 Security Update 2021-002 to address Baron Samedit, as well as two other vulnerabilities in Intel graphics drivers.

Tracked as CVE-2021-1805 and CVE-2021-1806 and identified by ABC Research s.r.o. working with Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative, the two vulnerabilities could allow an application to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges.

The first of the bugs is an out-of-bounds write issue, while the second is a race condition, Apple explains in its advisory. Both vulnerabilities were found to impact macOS Big Sur 11.2 and macOS Catalina 10.15.7, and were patched with improved validation.

Last week, Apple released patches for over 60 vulnerabilities in macOS, including the recently disclosed NAT Slipstreaming 2.0 attack, which could provide attackers with the ability to access devices on the internal network.

Related: Apple Patches Tens of Code Execution Vulnerabilities in macOS

Related: Apple Patches Code Execution Flaws in iOS and iPadOS

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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