NATIONAL NEWS

Don’t dawdle with latest iPhone update. Here’s why and how

Aug 20, 2022, 10:30 AM

FILE (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)...

FILE (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple regularly issues updates to the software powering the iPhone, and sometimes it’s OK to dawdle when it comes to installing them. But that’s not the case with its latest — an upgrade that Apple released Wednesday to close a security hole that could allow hackers to seize control of iPhones and several other popular Apple products.

Security experts are warning that everyone with an iPhone should install the update as soon as possible to protect all the personal information many people store on a device that’s become like another appendage for many.

Without the latest update, a hacker could wrest total control of Apple devices, allowing the intruder to impersonate the true owner and run any software in their name.

The company also issued fixes to block the security threat on iPads and Macs. The flaw may already have been “actively exploited,” according to the company, which had to fix other security problems earlier this year.

HOW DO I FIX THIS?

The good news? There’s an easy fix: you should be able to find easily. Start with the Settings app, the one with an icon featuring what looks like gears in an old watch. Go into the “General” section, then “Software Update.” The page you see will offer simple instructions or, if your device has already updated, a message to that effect.

The whole process typically only takes a few minutes, according to security experts. .

WHY IS UPDATING YOUR APPLE DEVICE SO URGENT?

Commercial spyware companies such as Israel’s NSO Group are known for identifying and taking advantage of such flaws, exploiting them in malware that surreptitiously infects targets’ smartphones, siphons their contents and surveils the targets in real time. It’s a risk that’s best to avoid.

WHY DOESN’T MY APPLE DEVICE DO THIS FOR ME?

Apple devices are set to automatic updates by default, but it can take some time before they get around to it. Updates also don’t usually trigger unless can be done and it usually won’t happen unless the iPhone is plugged into a power outlet at the time. It’s quicker just to check for the latest updates and do it manually.

DOES THIS MEAN APPLE ISN’T DOING A GOOD JOB PROTECTING ITS USERS?

No. The reality is that hackers are constantly looking for ways to gain unauthorized access to phones, tablets, computers, and other internet-connected devices for a wide range of malicious and illegal purposes. Apple’s products tend to be a prime target because they’re popular, making them an attractive target.

“Apple is no different to any technology company in that they’re constantly dealing with vulnerabilities,” said Jamie Collier, senior threat intelligence advisor for the cybersecurity firm Mandiant and an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. “This is really a function of the fact that they’re innovating. They’re constantly developing, they’re constantly improving services, improving their technology, improving their software. That means they’re constantly rolling out new things.”

WHAT APPLE DEVICES ARE AFFECTED?

The affected devices include the iPhone6S and later models; several models of the iPad, including the 5th generation and later, all iPad Pro models and the iPad Air 2; and Mac computers running MacOS Monterey. The flaw also affects some iPod models.

HOW DO I UPDATE IPADS AND MACS?

You can update your iPad using the same process outlined above: go to “Settings,” click “General” and click “Software Update.” On the Mac, go to “System Preferences,” then “Software Update.”

WHAT’S THE RISK THAT MY PHONE WAS COMPROMISED?

Unless you’re a journalist, political dissident or human rights activist, the chances are extremely low. The kinds of spyware created to exploit vulnerabilities of this type are expensive and typically reserved for targeted hacking.

“If you keep the systems updated, you’ll be absolutely fine,” Collier said. “Typically, when vulnerabilities in, say, phones and iPhones, for instance, are exploited, they tend to be pretty targeted, pretty focused on a small subset of individuals. So we’re unlikely to see anything that’s really widespread at this stage.”

—-

Liedtke reported from Berkeley, California. AP Business Writer Frank Bajak in Boston and AP videographer Terry Chea contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE PHOTO (Getty Images)...

Gerald Herbert and Kevin McGill, Associated Press

Storms bring floods and damaging wind across the South; 1 dead in Mississippi

Severe storms blamed for a death in Mississippi spawned a tornado that demolished buildings in one Louisiana city Wednesday.

19 minutes ago

(File photo)...

Jonel Aleccia AP Health Writer

Bird flu is spreading to more farm animals. Are milk and eggs safe?

A bird flu outbreak in U.S. dairy cows has grown to affect more than two dozen herds in eight states, just weeks after the nation's largest egg producer found the virus in its chickens.

2 hours ago

A protestor holds a sign reading 'My Body My Choice' at a Women's March rally where Arizona Secreta...

Steve Peoples and Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

A near-total ban on abortion has supercharged the political dynamics of Arizona, a key swing state

Arizona was already expected to be one of the most closely contested states in November's U.S. presidential election. But a ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged the state's role, transforming it into perhaps the nation's most critical battleground.

2 hours ago

Manuel Rocha sitting at a desk smiling...

Denise Royal, Carlos Suarez and Ray Sanchez, CNN

Former US diplomat sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to spying for Cuba

Manuel Rocha, the former US ambassador to Bolivia who acted as a secret foreign agent of Cuba, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges Friday

16 hours ago

The Google sign is shown over an entrance to the company's new building in New York on Wednesday, S...

Adam Beam and Tran Nguyen, Associated Press

In threat to legislature, Google removes news sites from searches

In an acting threat against the California legislature, Google began removing California news websites from searches on Friday.

17 hours ago

FILE - Border Patrol station in Harlingen, Texas. (David Pike/Valley Morning Star via AP, File)Cred...

Associated Press

Amid increased enforcement in Mexico, US Border arrests fall

Arrests for illegally crossing the US border fell by 2.3% from February to March.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Don’t dawdle with latest iPhone update. Here’s why and how