Apple has issued urgent fixes for two security holes in iOS and macOS, warning that bad actors may be actively exploiting the flaws to steal users’ data.
Available for pretty much all iPhones and iPads in circulation today, iOS 15.6.1 addresses two rather similar flaws in the operating system’s underlying Kernel and web-rendering engine.
CVE-2022-32894 is described as an out-of-bounds issue that an attacker can exploit to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Kernel access level can potentially allow an attacker to access anything on the target device, including the user’s chats and photos. Kernel access also makes it possible to run any data-stealing malware or even spyware.
“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the company warns.
The second vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2022-32893, is also an out-of-bounds write issue that can be exploited remotely by feeding a victim a tainted website or, as Apple describes it, “maliciously crafted web content.”
This flaw is present in the WebKit browsing engine shared by most apps that can access the web and display web content, meaning this particular security hole extends way beyond the stock apps present on a brand new iDevice.
Since the WebKit bug affects any app that uses it, simply switching web browsers will not address the problem.
Apple claims this issue may also have been actively exploited, making it imperative that iPhone and iPad users patch as soon as possible.
macOS Monterey 12.5.1 addresses the same two bugs on Macs, which is not entirely surprising considering the underlying similarities between Apple’s mobile and desktop OSes.
To update your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update and hit Download and Install.
On your Mac, go to the Apple menu in the top left-hand corner of your desktop, select About this Mac and click on Software Update. When the Mac App Store launches, select Update to install macOS Monterey 12.5.1.