Apple has once again released a patch for a likely critical vulnerability affecting the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and older iPad models — models for which it rarely releases security patches.
Along with fixes for iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura this week, Apple released a rare patch in the iOS 12.5.7 update to protect iOS devices that failed to update to iOS 15 when it was released in September 2021. 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, and iPod Touch (6th generation).
The update fixes a bug that can be used remotely to run code on an affected iPhone or iPad by simply pointing the victim’s browser to a malicious web page or web content.
The work of the Google Threat Intelligence Team
“Apple is aware of a report indicating that this issue may have been actively exploited in versions of iOS prior to iOS 15.1,” says the release notes for the bug, which is listed as CVE.-2022-42856.
This was reported by Clement Lesin from the Google Threat Analysis Group.
Apple patched the same vulnerability in iOS 16.1.2 on November 30, and then in macOS Ventura 13.1 and iOS 16.2 in mid-December.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that Apple has released fixes for versions of iOS that aren’t updated regularly. Apple released iOS version 12.5.6 at the end of August, exactly one year after the release of iOS 15, to fix another remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2022-32894) that was also in active use at the time.
Apple releases iOS 16.3 for iPhone and updates for iPad, Apple Watch and Mac
On Monday, Apple also released several software updates for almost its entire line of hardware.
Apple has released iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, WatchOS 9.3, HomePodOS 16.3 (with temperature sensor feature), tvOS 16.3, and MacOS 13.2.
The updates don’t include many new features, but they do include support for using passwords to protect your Apple ID, support for the second generation HomePod.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET
The HomePod update is especially interesting because it includes a temperature and humidity sensor in the smart speaker. With this information, you can use it to create home automation to control the devices in your home.
You can download the updates available now using the typical update process: go to the Settings app and then to General & Software Update.