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Apple kernel exception handling vulnerability

Vulnerability Note VU#838404

Original Release Date: 2006-10-02 | Last Revised: 2006-10-04


Apple Mac OS X may be vulnerable to privilege escalation via the Mach exception ports in the kernel. This vulnerability may allow a local user to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.


Mach 3.0 is an open source microkernel used by Mac OS X that provides memory management, memory protection, process scheduling, and interprocess communication services. According to Apple Security Update 2006-006:

An error handling mechanism in the kernel, known as Mach exception ports, provides the ability to control programs when certain types of errors are encountered. Malicious local users could use this mechanism to execute arbitrary code in privileged programs if an error is encountered.
This vulnerability affects Mac OS X v10.4 through Mac OS X v10.4.7, Mac OS X Server v10.4 through Mac OS X Server v10.4.7, and may affect other Mach-based Unix operating systems.


A local user may be able to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.


Apple has addressed this issue in Apple Security Update 2006-006.

Vendor Information


Apple Computer, Inc. Affected

Updated:  October 02, 2006



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


Refer to

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This issue was reported in Apple Security Update 2006-006. Apple credits Dino Dai Zovi of Matasano Security for reporting this issue.

This document was written by Chris Taschner.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2006-4392
Severity Metric: 1.38
Date Public: 2006-09-29
Date First Published: 2006-10-02
Date Last Updated: 2006-10-04 20:22 UTC
Document Revision: 23

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