Having described the Mactans attack in every detail, including the demonstration of how it works in practice, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology now shift the focus over to the issues that might make the attack using Mactans charger problematic. These five hurdles are extensively analyzed here, with possible fixes being proposed as well.
Yeongjin Jang and Billy Lau move on with the presentation of the Mactans charger and the way it can be used to deploy an actual attack on an arbitrary iOS based device. In this part the researchers show a demo reflecting the actual process where a legitimate app gets replaced with a malicious one which then gets executed in the background without user awareness. Additionally, several attack scenarios are described.
Yeongjin Jang from the Georgia Institute of Technology sheds light on the inalienable constituents of the Mactans attack from a more profound technical perspective. Starting with an overview of the provisioning profile features, the researcher also covers the methodology for obtaining the provisioning profile on the to-be compromised iOS device. Next goes the analysis of how an arbitrary hidden app can be installed, what should be done to obfuscate its execution, and how a private API can be exploited.
Billy Lau and his colleague Yeongjin Jang move on with the description of their research, dwelling on the details of Mactans compromising iDevices. In particular, the hardware architecture and other essential properties of the tricky charger are provided, and the algorithm of the attack workflow gets revealed. The process of pairing with the target device and some probable issues that may occur along the way are covered herein as well.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology deliver a remarkable presentation at the Black Hat conference, highlighting iOS security essentials and an unprecedented proof-of-concept attack that they came up with. In particular, the study provides a non-trivial perspective of how the so-called ‘walled garden model’ is implemented, with its strong points as well as shortcomings. Importantly, the Mactans concept is also overviewed in this presentation, describing the process of attacking iDevices via an especially designed charger.
In the final part of the Hack in the Box presentation, experts from Azimuth Security Mark Dowd and Tarjei Mandt analyze heap overflows as a component of iOS 6 kernel attack vectors. In particular, they dissect and exemplify a number of primitives, namely adjacent disclosure, arbitrary memory disclosure, extended overflow, and a mix of these techniques. The section also encompasses main takeaways relating to iOS 6 security.