Apple has alerted users about a significant security threat that affects iPhones, iPads and Macs. It’s reported that the vulnerability could enable hackers to sneak in and take over affected devices remotely.
Thankfully, the announcement comes with a fix in the shape of a new Apple security update that can stop the hostile takeover attacks before they happen.
It’s recommended that all Apple users go to Settings > General > Software updates immediately to update their system to the latest iOS/macOS version
Apple stated the iOS vulnerability could be exploited by cybercriminals when the devices are "processing web content", which essentially means browsing online. This means hackers can create malicious websites, divert users to these sites, and then run code that will enable them to control the device.
Apple devices usually restrict what kind of code can be run, but the iOS vulnerability has been exposed as a method for hackers to get in.
Tech flaws in the mobile phone operating system that enable hackers to attack devices just by opening a web page are extremely rare. But in the shady world of cyber-crime, these ‘vulnerabilities’ can be discovered by hackers and sold for big sums of money to criminal gangs. These criminals will then use the information to create dodgy websites and scams.
Luckily, they’re usually spotted by phone manufacturers very quickly, enabling fixes to be released before widespread users are affected.
But what this also does is highlight the problem to would-be cybercriminals. They may then go away and use their newfound knowledge to make new cyber viruses and malware apps which they could theoretically use to target more smartphones if further operating system flaws are exposed in the future.
That’s why it’s important to always keep your smartphone updated to the latest operating system.
If you’re unsure which operating system you’re using, you should check the Settings app of your iPhone to see if there’s a new update available. You can find all the info you need in the General category. Then, just make sure you have at least 50% battery and are on a Wi-Fi connection, and click download if there’s a new update waiting.
The current iPhone operating system is iOS 14. The majority of iPhones support this OS, however there are still a good chunk of handsets that do not.
If you’re on an iPhone 6 or older, unfortunately you will not be able to download the latest updates and your phone could be at risk.
If you’re concerned about running an outdated iOS, it might be time to upgrade to a newer model. The brand new iPhone 14 is expected in September, but there are still many other iPhones on the market to suit a range of budgets.
Take a look at our guide to the best iPhones currently available and you should be able to find a handset that suits your needs.
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