Apple Products Targeted by 9 Zero-Day Exploits in 2022: Report

Apple was targeted by a total of nine zero-day exploits across its entire product portfolio in 2022, according to a report from cyber threat intelligence firm and Google Cloud subsidiary Mandiant.

Over the course of 2022, Mandiant tracked a total of 55 zero-day vulnerabilities that the company believes were exploited in the wild to target various products and platforms. “Although this count is lower than the record-breaking 81 zero-days exploited in 2021, it still represents almost triple the number from 2020,” said the intelligence firm.

Per Mandiant, a zero-day is any vulnerability that threat actors manage to exploit before a patch is made available to the public.

Mandiant found that Apple products were the third most exploited by zero-day volume, at nine total exploited vulnerabilities. In comparison, Google came in second place with 10 zero-days exploited, while Microsoft took first place and accounted for a whopping 18 of the exploited zero-days.

According to Mandiant’s report, mobile operating systems were the least exploited product type, at just six of the 55 tracked zero-days. Desktop operating systems were at the other end of the spectrum, being targeted by 19 zero-days in 2022. Internet browsers like Google Chrome were targeted by 11 zero-days, while security, IT, and network management products were targeted by 10.

Mandiant identifies zero-days using its own research, combined with breach investigation findings and reporting from open source. The firm’s report focuses on zero-day vulnerabilities exploited by named groups.

Chinese state-sponsored cyber espionage groups exploited more zero-days than any other threat actors in 2022, as was the case with prior years, Mandiant said.

The firm also identified four zero-day vulnerabilities that it could say with some level of confidence were exploited by financially motivated threat actors. Mandiant was able to link three of these exploits to known ransomware operations.