At the last DEFCON conference, Check Point experts demonstrated how to hack an iPhone through a database engine that uses iOS – SQLite. In this case, hackers will be able to obtain administrator rights over the device.
SQLite is the most widely used database in the world. They are available in any operating system, personal computer and mobile phone. SQLite users are Windows 10, MacOS, iOS, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Android. Contacts on your iPhone, some of the saved passwords on your laptop – all this information is most likely stored in the SQLite database.
Check Point experts found several vulnerabilities and invented an innovative way to exploit them. Simply put, it has now become possible to gain control over everything that accesses SQLite databases.
Since SQLite is one of the most widely used software components, such vulnerabilities can be applied infinitely many times.
Check Point researchers have demonstrated these vulnerabilities in two ways. In the first case, the engineers intercepted an attacker who infected the device under test with popular malware, known as the “password stealer”. When a malicious program picks up a saved password from an infected computer and sends it to its operator, we gain control over the operator itself.
The second demonstration was on the iPhone, on the iOS operating system. Specialists managed to bypass Apple’s trusted secure boot mechanism and gain administrator rights on the latest iPhone.
Until now, database queries have never been considered dangerous. Check Point research proves that this is fundamentally wrong.
SQLite is almost built into almost any platform, so we can say that experts barely scratched the tip of the iceberg, if we talk about the potential exploitation of vulnerabilities.
Check Point hopes this study will push the global cybersecurity community to work further on these vulnerabilities.