Skip to main content

Own an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook? Install this critical update right now

Apple has released software updates for iPhones and iPads that are light on features, but they are critically important from a security perspective. The updates — iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 — started rolling out on Friday, but you should install them on your iPhone and iPad as soon as possible to protect your devices from attacks.

In its official release note, Apple says the updates patch two security flaws that “may have been actively exploited.” Now, Apple doesn’t disclose security issues before conducting thorough research, both in-house and in collaboration with cybersecurity experts. In a nutshell, when Apple publicly announces a security flaw, and it comes with a “Critical Vulnerability” badge, you should grab the fix as soon as Apple makes them available.

IOS 16.4.1 UPDATE.
Nadeem Sarwar / DigitalTrends

Labeled CVE-2023-28206 and CVE-2023-28205, these security flaws have been patched with the latest updates. The former, which was flagged by a cybersecurity expert affiliated with Amnesty International, grants kernel privilege to a bad actor.

A vulnerability of this caliber is extremely dangerous, as it allows a hacker to run malicious code at the very fundamental level of an operating system to wreak havoc by exploiting root access, targeting weaknesses in code, and gaining varied levels of control over your device.

The second vulnerability, which is labeled CVE-2023-28205 and affects the WebKit engine that handles Apple’s web browser, could also allow remote code execution. This capability, once again, allows a malicious party to remotely run bad code on the target device for goals like stealing sensitive data.

Thankfully, Apple has finally released a fix for both the vulnerabilities, which affect the iPhone 8 (and models launched after it, like the iPhone 14.) and the third-gen iPad Air, fifth-gen iPad, and fifth-gen iPad mini, alongside their respective successors. For older iPhones and iPads, Apple released the iOS 15.7.5 and iPadOS 15.7.5 updates earlier today.

MacBook users should also take note, as Apple has released macOS 13.3.1 with fixes for the same vulnerabilities mentioned above.

In case you haven’t installed the iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 updates yet, you can do so by following this path: Settings > General > Software Update. However, the best way forward is to enable automatic updates on your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. On the Settings app’s home page, tap on General, followed by Software Update.
  3. The next page will show the status of Automatic Updates.
  4. If it is disabled, tap on it and enable the toggles that will make sure your phone downloads and also installs all the software updates automatically.

Now, what are you waiting for — go forth and update your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook!

Editors' Recommendations

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
Does the Google Pixel Watch work with an iPhone?
A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.

Google threw its hat into the smartwatch ring last year when it introduced the Google Pixel Watch, and now it's back for a much-needed encore with the Pixel Watch 2 — an updated version that proves how good an idea it is to wait for the second generation of a new tech product.

The Pixel Watch 2 improves upon its predecessor in nearly every way, with better battery life, a more comfortable design, and far smoother performance. It's enough for Google to make a mark among Wear OS smartwatches and give Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup a run for its money in a way that other challengers like the Moto 360 and Oppo Watch never could.

Read more
The iPad is going to get an amazing new feature in 2024
iPad 2022 first setup.

Apple did not release new iPads this year, despite October rumors to the contrary. However, it's likely to do so in 2024 with one significant change on the horizon.

According to ET News, Apple will release the first iPad Pro models with organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) sometime next year. Perhaps in even bigger news, Apple also plans on increasing the size of the iPad mini from 8.3 inches to 8.7 inches.

Read more
It looks like the iPhone 16 will get a big design upgrade
Someone holding the Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Following the release of the iPhone 15 Pro series, several early adopters reported overheating issues. Apple later confirmed that the problem was caused by a software bug in iOS 17, which affected some owners of the phones. The company quickly resolved the issue with the release of iOS 17.0.3 and never acknowledged that hardware played a role in the overheating. Fast-forward to the present, and it now looks like Apple plans to make hardware changes on the iPhone 16 that would make the 2024 handsets less likely to overheat.

According to Apple prototype collector Kosutami, Apple will make two changes to the next round of iPhones. On X, formerly Twitter, they note: "Apple is actively working on graphene thermal system of iPhone 16 Series to solve the heating problem existing before. And the battery of Pro series would change to metal shell, for the same reason."

Read more