Urgent updates released for iPhone, iPad and Mac | information age

Update your Apple devices quickly and smartly. Photo: Shutterstock

iPhone, iPad and Mac owners are urged to update their devices after Apple admitted to a set of major security vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to take control of customer devices.

In a series of sudden exits macOS and iOS updates, Apple has detailed security flaws carrying the potential for execution of “arbitrary code”, a technical capability that allows hackers to execute commands on a target device.

Apple said it was “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited”, indicating that the vulnerabilities may have already been used for malicious purposes against Apple devices.

This apparent exposure to hacking poses big problems for Apple and its users, as those affected could face a range of security compromises from data theft to complete device takeover.

Zero-day vulnerabilities

Two notable qualities stand out about Apple’s new updates – first, the abrupt nature of their release, and second, the fact that they relate to apparent zero-day vulnerabilities.

A zero-day vulnerability is a type of security flaw in which hackers discover and exploit unpatched problems in software.

Hackers are usually one step ahead of software developers when it comes to zero-day vulnerabilities, making it nearly impossible for users to defend against them until a suitable software update is released. published.

Jake Moore, global cybersecurity adviser at ESET, told UK newspaper Metro: “If exploited, attackers could see your location, read messages, view contact lists and potentially even gain access to the microphone and camera. – all the things you don’t want. have there.
“Those in the public eye such as activists, politicians and journalists should act more quickly as they have previously become targets of espionage by nation states,” he added.

Risk of targeted attacks

2022 has been a decidedly tumultuous year for mobile phone security.

The Apple news comes amid continued unease over TikTok’s data sharing practices, and soon after Australian MPs were encouraged to use two separate mobile phones for data security purposes.

While mobile phone vulnerabilities have the potential to affect an incredible number of users, those in the public eye are arguably more susceptible to targeted attacks.

Zero-day vulnerabilities are often used for big game and are a very lucrative method for hackers and state actors looking to exploit high-value targets.

Professor Matthew Warren of RMIT University warned of the possibility of targeted attacks related to these new vulnerabilities, sayingif they were criminal gangs, there would be particular targets in particular organizations that they would try to target for financial gain.”

He also added that “every Apple user should be concerned.”

Apple has provided few words on the extent of these vulnerabilities, but the consensus among experts is that hackers could easily impersonate users and take control of unpatched devices.

Apple’s updates are expressly intended to fix these apparent security flaws, meaning the users most at risk are those who haven’t yet updated their devices.

If you’ve turned off automatic updates or haven’t taken action yet, Apple recommends that you open your device’s Settings and apply the latest available updates as soon as possible.

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