Apple is urging users to update their iPhones, iPads and Mac computers after the company sounded the alarm over a serious security vulnerability that could allow hackers to take over their devices.
The tech giant warned on Wednesday that Mac computers could be attacked by “malicious web content” and said it was “aware of reports that this issue may be being actively exploited”.
Apple has released software updates it says fix the exploits and warned users to download them as soon as possible.
Here’s what Apple’s warning means, which devices are affected, and what users should do.
‘Full access to the device’
Apple said it found two bugs in Webkit – which powers Safari and other apps – and in the kernel, a computer program at the heart of the operating system. The vulnerabilities are believed to be related and could give hackers essentially full access to iPhones, iPads and Macs, the company warned.
Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security, warned on Twitter that the bugs “could effectively give attackers full access to the device.”
She urged everyone to update their devices by the end of the day, adding that those who are particularly vulnerable, such as activists, journalists and others who could be targeted by nation-state hackers, should be updated immediately.
Which Macs, iPads, iPhones are vulnerable?
Apple said anyone with an iPhone released since 2015, an iPad released since 2014, or a Mac running the OSx Monterey operating system should update their devices.
For iPhones, the affected devices are the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
For iPads, the update list includes all iPad Pros, iPad Airs 2nd generation or later, iPad Minis 3rd generation or later, and Standard iPads 5th generation or later.
For Macs, all devices should be updated with the OSx Monterey operating system. These are Late 2015 and later iMacs, 2017 and later iMac Pros, 2015 and later MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, 2014 and later Mac Pros, Late 2014 and later Mac minis, and 2016 and later MacBooks.
Some later iPod models could also be affected, Apple said.
How to update
iPhone and iPad owners can update their software by going to the Settings app, tapping General, then Software Update. If they see a new software update available, they should tap Install Now.
Mac owners should click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of their desktop screen. You should then click “About This Mac” and then click “Software Update” to check for available updates. If a new software update is available, they should click Update Now.
Additional reporting by Katherine Donlevy
https://nypost.com/2022/08/19/apples-big-security-warning-what-it-means-and-how-to-respond/ What it means and how to react to it