Home / iOS / Researchers find vulnerability in Apple's MDM DEP process

Researchers find vulnerability in Apple's MDM DEP process

Safety researchers from Duo Labs have discovered a vulnerability in an Apple-specific mechanism used to manage units as a part of closed enterprise networks.

The mechanism is kind of widespread and is named Cell Machine Administration (MDM). It’s utilized by small to massive firms to enroll Apple units beneath one administration server from the place system directors can ship frequent certificates, purposes, WiFi passwords, VPN configurations, and so forth –all particular to that firm’s community.

In a analysis paper revealed at this time and shared with ZDNet prematurely, the Duo Labs staff has revealed a vulnerability in DEP, or the Machine Enrollment Program, the protocol by which new Apple units are added to an MDM server.

Extra particularly, Duo Labs researchers say that the “gadget authentication” technique of the DEP scheme could be exploited by an attacker –step #four within the picture under.


Duo researchers say that flaws in the best way DEP was designed enable an attacker to trick the authentication step and enroll a tool of the attacker’s selecting in a corporation’s MDM server.

Moreover, researchers additionally say the DEP pre-enrollment authentication course of will also be abused to leak details about the group that owns a particular gadget, info that may be abused for planning future assaults.

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The primary motive why these assaults on the MDM DEP authentication course of are attainable is as a result of Apple solely depends on a tool’s serial quantity to uniquely determine an iPhone, iPad, or Mac gadget that’s being added to an MDM server.

“The weaknesses in Apple’s Machine Enrollment Program authentication outlined in [our] paper could be remediated in a number of methods,” stated Duo Labs researchers.

“A number of the really useful remediation steps would require re-architecting how DEP and MDM enrollment work, and will require adjustments, whereas others are extra simple and could be applied instantly by clients utilizing DEP.”

These remediation steps are described in a 32-page report launched at this time. They embrace the usage of cryptographic signatures generated by trendy chips embedded in Apple’s newest units, including a rate-limit to DEP API requests to stop mass gadget information harvesting, or the usage of trendy authentication help through SAML or Auth 2.zero as a part of the DEP enrollment course of.

“Whatever the authentication weaknesses within the present implementation of Apple’s Machine Enrollment Program, there isn’t any query that it nonetheless gives worth for organizations with massive fleets of Apple units,” researchers stated, additionally suggesting the difficulty they discovered may very well be mitigated through varied safety greatest practices utilized to inner networks and person units.

Duo stated it notified Apple of the MDM DEP vulnerability in Could this yr. Apple has not deployed any countermeasures as of but. Researchers will likely be presenting their findings tomorrow, September 28, on the ekoparty safety convention, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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About Alejandro Bonaparte

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