In Science and Space: Apple issued a warning that a flaw might let hackers access data and take over devices. Although the loophole has been closed, Apple customers should still exercise caution. Apple also uses the argument that its products should be especially secure to defend the high costs it charges for them. Typically, this is the case. The US group can effectively “lock” its cell phones, tablets, and laptops because hardware and software are produced by a single company. However, it is now clear that Apple cannot provide 100 percent protection from hackers. Because there is such a significant security flaw in millions of iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, Apple is pushing its consumers to update the software on their devices. Sophos, a security expert, mentions “emergency updates” that have
The risks that Sophos experts list sound like a nightmare scenario. Among other things, attackers can spy on all running apps, load and start additional apps on the devices, access almost all data, change security settings, tap cameras and microphones and track surfing behavior. Spying on bank details and passwords, the theft of photos or documents are just some of the dangers. Apple warns of a vulnerability that hackers could use to access private data. (symbol photo) © imageBROKER/Valentin Wolf/Imago
Anonymous experts have discovered two so-called zero-day vulnerabilities on the devices. The term stands for errors that are so serious that the manufacturer has practically zero days to fix them. The vulnerabilities affect Apple’s Safari browser and its technology called WebKit, which is mandatory on iPhone and iPad. Safari is also used on the Mac, but there are alternatives without WebKit in the form of Chrome and Firefox. Users surfing with Safari and other WebKit browsers run the risk of hackers taking complete control of their devices simply by accidentally visiting a specially crafted website. According to Apple, the gap could already have been actively exploited by hackers.
Because there is no automatic update, the most important step is to update the software as soon as possible. This works via the settings of the device (the symbol with the gray gear wheel) and there in the menu “General => Software update” (iPhone and iPad) or “Software update” (Mac). The new and secure versions iOS 15.6.1 (iPhone), iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad) and macOS Monterey 12.5.1 (Mac) should be available there for installation. Safari browser updates are available for Catalina and Big Sur.