Apps and Software
Apple

Update now: Apple issues major security patch for iOS

Apple admits bad actors may have been using this vulnerability.
By Jack Morse  on 
Man looking at iPhone while biting his nails, in the subway.
Oh, no. Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty

Forgive yourself the déjà vu.

Apple announced Thursday major security updates for both iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1. At issue, according to the company, is an exploit which could let a hacker run arbitrary code on users devices (that's bad). What's more, Apple notes that this vulnerability isn't theoretical.

"Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution," writes the company. "Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited."

In other words, Apple is saying that someone out there — hackers, government employees, whoever — may used this exploit prior to this patch.

Thursday's announcement comes shortly on the heels of a Jan. 26 security patch for iOS and macOS, which itself followed a host of December, 2021, security fixes. To be clear, it's a good thing that Apple is actively issuing these patches — even if customers are left wondering why so many are ultimately necessary.

Thursday's update is available for the iPhone 6s and later, all iPad Pro models, the iPad Air 2 (and later), the iPad 5th generation (and later), the iPad mini 4 (and later), and the 7th generation iPod touch.

Notably, Apple credits discovery of the vulnerability to an anonymous researcher.

To update your iPhone:

  1. While connected to internet, plug your iPhone in and go to Settings

  2. Tap General

  3. Select Software Update

  4. Chose Download and Install

  5. Enter your passcode when prompted

Apple thankfully makes the update process relatively painless, which, considering how often iOS security updates seem to be needed, is wholeheartedly appreciated.


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