The default mailing app pre-installed on millions of iPhones and iPads has been found vulnerable to two critical flaws that attackers are exploiting in the wild, at least, from the last two years to spy on high-profile victims.
The flaws could eventually let remote hackers secretly take complete control over Apple devices just by sending an email to any targeted individual with his email account logged-in to the vulnerable app.
According to cybersecurity researchers at ZecOps, the bugs in question are remote code execution flaws that reside in the MIME library of Apple's mail app—first, due to an out-of-bounds write bug and second, is a heap overflow issue.
Though both flaws get triggered while processing the content of an email, the second flaw is more dangerous because it can be exploited with 'zero-click,' where no interaction is required from the targeted recipients.
According to the researchers, both flaws existed in various models of iPhone and iPad for the last 8 years since the release of iOS 6 and, unfortunately, also affect the current iOS 13.4.1 with no patch yet update available for the regular versions.
What's more worrisome is that multiple groups of attackers are already exploiting these flaws—for at least 2 years as zero-days in the wild—to target individuals from various industries and organizations, MSSPs from Saudi Arabia and Israel, and journalists in Europe. "With very limited data, we were able to see that at least six organizations were impacted by this vulnerability – and the full scope of abuse of this vulnerability is enormous," the researchers said.