The memory corruption condition can then be used to circumvent kernel address space layout randomisation (kASLR), a defensive technique designed to thwart exploit code from running. The attacker then gains a root shell.
The exploit code works in OS X versions 10.9.5 through 10.10.5. It is fixed in OS X 10.11, the beta version of the next Apple OS nicknamed El Capitan.
Todesco, who said he does security research in his spare time, said he notified Apple of the problems “a few hours before the exploit was published”.
“This is not due to me having issues with Apple’s patch policies/time-frames, as others have incorrectly reported,” he wrote.
He also developed a patch called NULLGuard, which he’s included in the GitHub material. Since he does not have a Mac developer certificate, he wrote that he can’t distribute an easy-to-install version of the patch.
Apple officials could be not immediately reached for comment.