Apple is urging iPhone and iPad users to promptly update their operating systems to fix security bugs that may have already been exploited by hackers. On its support webpage, the company said three security flaws “may have been actively exploited.” It did not reveal too many specifics about the bugs, noting “Apple does not disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until an investigation has occurred and patches or releases are available.”The issue is a link in an exploit chain, meaning a hacker would need to exploit further bugs for it to be fully executable.
The company declined to comment further on any attacks. The company pushed out the security patches on Tuesday as part of its new iOS 14.4 software, which also includes fixes for keyboard lag and allows smaller QR codes to be read by the camera.
Apple said two security issues stem from its WebKit, an open-source browser engine used by Safari and iOS browsers. “A remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution,” the company said in the description notes. Meanwhile, Kernel, an Apple developer framework, was also affected. The exploits were reported by “an anonymous researcher,” according to the webpage.
Apple prides itself on device security but it’s not immune to exploits. Last year, Google researchers found several websites with code that allowed hackers to quietly infiltrate iPhones. Meanwhile, an iOS13 bug exposed contact details stored in iPhones without requiring a passcode or biometric identification a flaw that the company did not publicly address until several months after it was first reported.
How To Update to iOS 14.4
You can be download it for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
iOS 14.4 allows the camera to recognize smaller QR codes, and there’s a feature for specifying a device type for third-party Bluetooth-connected audio devices so that Headphone Audio Level measurements can be taken correctly.
The update also provides notifications for when the camera on an iPhone is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera in the iPhone 12 models, which would be applicable only to repairs.
Apple’s full release notes for the update are below:
iOS 14.4 includes the following improvements for your iPhone:
– Smaller QR codes can be recognized by Camera
– Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications
– Notifications for when the camera on your iPhone is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera in iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro , and iPhone 12 Pro Max
This release also fixes the following issues:
– Image artifacts could appear in HDR photos taken with iPhone 12 Pro
– Fitness widget may not display updated Activity data
– Typing may be delayed and word suggestions may not appear on the keyboard
– The keyboard may not come up in the correct language in Messages
– Audio stories from the News app in CarPlay may not resume after being paused for spoken directions or Siri
– Enabling Switch Control in Accessibility may prevent phone calls from being answered from the Lock Screen