Make sure you get the latest system updates for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS Big Sur immediately to fix a dangerous security hole that hackers are actively exploiting in the wild.
The iOS and iPad updates also fix an annoying bug that is preventing some iPhone users from unlocking their Apple Watch using their phone’s Touch ID. The key point, however, is that all iPhone, iPad, and Mac users need to install the updates immediately to keep their devices and data safe from the latest security vulnerabilities.
The patch notes for the iOS / iPadOS 14.7.1 and macOS 11.5.1 Updates list the error as CVE-2021-30807. It is a “memory corruption problem” in the IOMobileFrameBuffer component, found on all three affected operating systems, which allows malicious apps installed on the device to gain elevated privileges and execute attacks using arbitrary code.
Unfortunately, both bug reports confirm that Apple has received an anonymous “report that this issue may have been actively exploited” and Reporting from ZDNetNet indicates that a proof-of-concept attack has occurred online. In other words, unpatched Apple devices are open targets.
For anyone interested in a more technical breakdown of the problem, Saar Amar of the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) wrote a detailed blog post on the topic. Amar actually discovered the bug nearly four months ago and was working on a full bug report before Apple self-disclosed the problem, and his explanation gives us a deeper look into the bug than we would ever get from Apple.
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Here’s how to install the updates on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
The updates are available for all iPhones with iOS 14, iPads with iPadOS 14 and Mac desktops and Macbooks with macOS Big Sur. To check the operating system version of your device:
- iOS / iPadOS: Go to Settings> General> Info, and make sure you are using iOS 14.7.1 or higher for iPhones or iPadOS 14.7.1 or higher for iPads.
- Mac OS: click “About this Mac” from the Apple menu. Make sure you are running macOS 11.5.1 or later.
And this is how you update your devices:
- iOS / iPadOS: Go to Settings> General> Software Update> Download and Install Then follow the instructions on the screen.
- Mac OS: Of the Apple menu, go to System Settings> Software Update> Update Now and follow the instructions.