Security Threat for Apple Users
Apple has released an emergency software update for a variety of its products to address myriad vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors.
Apple has released iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, watchOS 7.6.2, and macOS Big Sur 11.6, all of which include important security fixes that address several flaws, most notably the Pegasus spyware bug, a zero-day (i.e., previously unknown) vulnerability. The fix plugs a hole in iMessage software that could allow hackers to infect an Apple device remotely without the victim’s knowledge or the need for the victim to click any links.
Which Apple Products Are Affected?
The following Apple products are affected by the vulnerabilities and should be updated immediately:
- watchOS versions before 7.6.2
- Safari versions before 14.1.2 (146184.108.40.206.7 on macOS Mojave and 156220.127.116.11.7 on macOS Catalina)
- iOS/iPadOS versions before 14.8
- macOS Big Sur versions before 11.6
- macOS Catalina without Security Update 2021-005
What Do I Need to Do?
Apple recommends that users immediately update all Apple devices—iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches—to install the emergency patch.
Please note: The updates will also include a fix for Safari browsers.
- On an iPhone or iPad, manually check for iOS 14.8 or iPadOS 14.8 by opening the Settings app on your device, tapping General, tapping Software Update, and tapping Install Update.
- On macOS, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen, select System Preferencesand then click Software Update (marked with a gear icon). After your Mac checks for available updates, click Update Now.
- To update an Apple Watch, open the Watch app on your iPhone, tap My Watch(if necessary), tap General, tap Software Update, and tap to install.
Until software updates have been appropriately installed, be aware of sites visited and downloads made across your Apple devices. Additional recommendations include:
- Don’t download, accept, or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.
- Don’t visit untrusted websites or follow links provide by untrusted or unknown sources.
- Evaluate read, write, and execute permissions on any newly installed software or apps.
- Update your Apple devices as quickly as possible.
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