iPhone update brings with it fixes to keep hackers from accessing the most central parts of iOS 10

Hackers could take advantage of the bug to run malicious code and delete files

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin
Tuesday 24 January 2017 15:19

Phones that haven't yet been updated to the new version of iOS could fall victim to a range of security flaws.

Bugs in the code of iOS can allow hackers to break into many of the most central parts of the iPhone or iPad. The problem could let people get access to things like unlocking and the OS's kernel, letting anyone who had access run apps and so potentially steal information.

The problem is fixed by updating to the latest version of iOS, version 10.2.1. The update doesn't bring with it any major features, but fixes those problems, which could affect any devices after the iPhone 5 and the fourth generation of the iPad.

Though the bugs don't seem to have been used in the wild yet, anyone who worked out how to do so would be given extreme access to the phone. For instance, the problems with the kernel – the central core of the operating system – would let people run malicious and external code and in essence take over a phone.

Apple has also pushed out updates to almost every other major bit of software that it makes. That includes iTunes, Safari, macOS Sierra and the operating systems that power the Apple Watch and Apple TV. Some of those also include important security updates.

iPhones and iPads are updated by heading to the Settings app and clicking on General. Inside there is the option to to update, and pressing that starts the download, which requires that the phone is connected to WiFi and charged up.

A similar option exists on Macs and other hardware.

Apple recommends that devices are backed up before they are updated. That can be done through the iCloud settings.

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