cybersecurity within the Apple ecosystem.

In a significant alert issued today, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has highlighted an urgent security concern that impacts a broad array of Apple products, including iPhones, Macs, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches. The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2022-48618, has been disclosed by Apple’s security team and is currently being actively exploited, underscoring the critical nature of the threat.

Originally noted in a December 2022 security advisory and further detailed on January 9th, the vulnerability has only now been brought to the public’s attention. Despite the flaw’s recent disclosure, it remains unclear whether Apple had previously addressed the issue in advisories dating back more than two years.

Understanding the Vulnerability

CVE-2022-48618 presents a severe threat by allowing attackers to bypass Pointer Authentication, a crucial security mechanism designed to prevent memory corruption attacks. This flaw grants attackers with arbitrary read and write access the ability to undermine a key line of defense within Apple’s operating systems, potentially leading to unauthorized access and control over affected devices.

Apple’s acknowledgment of the exploitation against earlier iOS versions, specifically those released before iOS 15.7.1, adds to the urgency for users to update their devices. The tech giant has taken steps to mitigate the vulnerability by introducing enhanced checks in iOS 16.2 and later versions, as well as in updates for iPadOS, macOS Ventura, tvOS, and watchOS.

Impacted Devices and Required Actions

The scope of devices affected by this vulnerability is extensive, including:

  • iPhone 8 and later models
  • All iPad Pro models
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (5th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)
  • Macs running macOS Ventura
  • Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD models
  • Apple Watch Series 4 and later

In response to the active exploitation of CVE-2022-48618, CISA has mandated U.S. federal agencies to patch the vulnerability by February 21st. This directive is part of the broader effort to secure federal systems against known threats, in line with the binding operational directive (BOD 22-01) established in November 2021.

Recent Security Measures by Apple

In addition to addressing CVE-2022-48618, Apple has recently released updates to combat the first zero-day bug of the year, identified as CVE-2024-23222. This particular vulnerability, stemming from a WebKit confusion issue, could enable attackers to execute code on vulnerable devices. Apple’s proactive measures also extended to backporting patches for older iPhone and iPad models, targeting two additional WebKit zero-days (CVE-2023-42916 and CVE-2023-42917) that were patched in November for newer devices.


The discovery and active exploitation of CVE-2022-48618 serve as a stark reminder of the persistent threat landscape facing digital devices and the continuous need for vigilance and timely updates. Apple’s response to these vulnerabilities, coupled with CISA’s directive, highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in cybersecurity. Users and organizations are urged to ensure their devices are updated to the latest software versions to protect against these and other vulnerabilities, maintaining the integrity and security of their information and systems.