A potentially dangerous security hole threatens iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches. Apple users should install the new software immediately. The fix is also available for older devices.
After Apple provided a large number of updates in the last week of April, with which, among other things, the anti-tracking function (app tracking transparency) was introduced on iPhones, iPads, and iPods, the group submitted the first bug fix for these software versions on Tuesday.
The information about the updates to iOS / iPad OS 14.5.1, macOS 11.3.1, and watchOS 7.4.1 state that the patches fix two vulnerabilities in Apple’s Webkit system. Webkit is the primary system that Apple uses to display web content, for example, in the Safari browser and other apps. The errors would have enabled maliciously manipulated websites to execute malicious code on the devices. Apple is also aware of a report that these vulnerabilities have already been actively exploited.
For Apple users, this means that they should install updates again after the significant updates from last week. Because the information that the security gaps have already been exploited indicates an acute threat. Fortunately, the new patches are not very large. On an iPhone 12 with iOS 14.5, the download is specified as 127.8 megabytes.
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It is advisable to activate the setting Automatic updates in the settings under General / Software update so that new software versions can be installed without manual intervention. In the case of an acute threat like this, one should still initiate the update process manually by selecting Settings / General / Software update and then tapping on Load and Install as soon as the update is displayed.
For some older devices with the same vulnerabilities but are not compatible with iOS 14.5, Apple has released an update to iOS 12.5.3 in parallel. According to the manufacturer, this fix is suitable for the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus and the iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini three, and the sixth-generation iPod touch.