Vulnerability Note VU#838404

Apple kernel exception handling vulnerability

Original Release date: 02 Oct 2006 | Last revised: 04 Oct 2006


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.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Apple Computer, Inc.Affected-02 Oct 2006
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



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
  • Date Public: 29 Sep 2006
  • Date First Published: 02 Oct 2006
  • Date Last Updated: 04 Oct 2006
  • Severity Metric: 1.38
  • Document Revision: 22


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