Google discloses three severe vulnerabilities in Apple OS X

Researchers with Google's Project Zero security team say they've found three flaws with high severity that have yet to be patched.

Apple's OS X could be successfully attacked, according to Google security researchers. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google's Project Zero security team revealed the existence this week of three vulnerabilities with high severity that have yet to be fixed in Apple's OS X operating system.

Although each of the flaws requires an attacker to have access to a targeted Mac, they could all contribute to a successful attempt to elevate privilege levels and take over a machine.

The first flaw, "OS X networkd "effective_audit_token" XPC type confusion sandbox escape," involves circumvention of commands in the network system and may be mitigated in OS X Yosemite, but there is no clear explanation of whether this is the case. The second vulnerability documents "OS X IOKit kernel code execution due to NULL pointer dereference in IntelAccelerator." The third one, "OS X IOKit kernel memory corruption due to bad bzero in IOBluetoothDevice." includes an exploit related to OS X's kernel structure.

Each vulnerability, as with any disclosed by the Project Zero team, includes a proof-of-concept exploit.

The vulnerabilities were reported to Apple back in October but the flaws have not been fixed. After 90 days, details of vulnerabilities found by Project Zero are automatically released to the public -- which is what happened this week.

Project Zero, which Google officially launched in mid-2014, tasks researchers with uncovering any software flaws that have the potential of leading to targeted attacks on people's computers.

On Apple's product security page, the company states: "For the protection of our customers, Apple does not disclose, discuss or confirm security issues until a full investigation has occurred and any necessary patches or releases are available."

This isn't the first time Google's Project Zero has published vulnerabilities that are yet to be fixed. In the past several weeks, the tech giant's security team has published information about three separate, unpatched security flaws in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

This story originally posted as "Google's Project Zero reveals three Apple OS X zero-day vulnerabilities" on ZDNet.

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