Scientists at MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have unveiled a new attack methodology that exploits a hardware vulnerability in Apple’s M1 series of chips by using a new PACMAN technique to steal data. This flaw could theoretically give malicious actors full access to core operating system kernel.
“PACMAN” is an attack capable of finding the correct value to pass pointer authentication; so that a hacker can continue to access the computer. Pointer authentication is a security measure that protects the central processor unit from any attackers who have gained access to memory. Pointers store memories addresses. Pointer Authentication Codes check for any unexpected pointer modifications that might be caused by an attack.
APPLE M1 CHIP HAS a SECURITY WEAKNESS
Unfortunately, the attack on the American manufacturer shows that hackers can disable pointer authentication without leaving any trace. Unlike previous M1 chip software flaws, this one uses a hardware mechanism, so no software patch can fix it.