Make sure you install the latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS Big Sur system updates immediately to patch a dangerous security vulnerability that hackers are actively exploiting in the wild.
The iOS and iPad updates also fix an annoying bug that prevents some iPhone users from unlocking their Apple Watch via their phone’s Touch ID. However, the crucial point 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 flaw.
The patch notes for the iOS/iPadOS 14.7.1 and macOS 11.5.1 updates list the flaw as CVE-2021-30807. It is a “memory corruption issue” in the IOMobileFrameBuffer component found on all three of the affected operating systems that allows malicious apps installed on the device to gain elevated privileges and execute arbitrary code attacks.
Unfortunately, both bug reports confirm Apple received an anonymous “report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” and ZDNet’s reporting indicates a proof-of-concept attack has appeared online. In other words: Unpatched Apple devices are open targets.
For anyone interested in a more technical breakdown of the issue, Saar Amar of the Microsoft Security Response Centre (MSRC) wrote a detailed blog post on the issue. Amar actually discovered the bug nearly four months ago and was working on a comprehensive bug report before Apple disclosed the issue itself, and his explanation gives us a deeper look into the bug than we’d ever get from Apple.
How to install the updates on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
The updates are available for all iPhones running iOS 14, iPads running iPadOS 14, and Mac desktops and Macbooks running macOS Big Sur. Here’s how to check your device’s OS version:
- iOS/iPadOS: Go to Settings > General > About, and make sure you’re on iOS 14.7.1 or higher for iPhones or iPadOS 14.7.1 or higher for iPads.
- macOS: Click “About this Mac” from the Apple menu. Make sure it’s running macOS 11.5.1 or newer.
And here’s how to update your devices:
- iOS/iPadOS: Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install then follow the on-screen instructions.
- macOS: From the Apple menu, go to System Preferences > Software Update > Update Now and follow the instructions.