On September 13, 2021, Apple released an emergency security update for all Apple products that support iMessage. The update is called IOS 14.8 (and iPadOS 14.8) and fixes essential security flaws in the iMessage code.
This article includes everything you need to know about the emergency update, including how to update your devices.
What Is the Apple Emergency Update?
The Apple emergency update is a response to NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware that targets Apple devices. Essentially, the spyware can access a phone’s information by sending a text through iMessage. The phone owner doesn’t have to open the text or view the photo for the spyware to infect the phone.
Apple released an official statement
noting, “Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.” The Citizen Lab first found the exploit and named it FORCEDENTRY.
The Citizen Lab
says, “We discovered a zero-day zero-click exploit against iMessage.” They note that the spyware targets Apple’s image rendering library and they believe spyware has used the exploit since February 2021.
Researchers at Citizen Lab also note that users most likely won’t notice anything suspicious happening on their device. In addition, in an interview with the New York Times
, a Citizen Lab Researcher divulged that hackers using this exploit could track texts, calls, and emails. They could also switch on the camera and harvest data on encrypted apps.
Although this sounds frightening, it’s unlikely that the hackers would use their exploit on the normal iPhone owner. These attacks take time, effort, and money to complete successfully, meaning most individuals won’t become targets.
As soon as Apple identified the flaw in the iMessage code, they created a fix — IOS 14.8. If you’re worried about potential malware, simply update your phone and download the new IOS update.
How to Update Your iPhone or iPad With the Apple Emergency Update
Apple ensures that its updates are fast and easy. To update your iPhone or iPad to IOS 14.8, follow these steps:
- Navigate to Settings.
- Click General and then find Software Update.
- If the update is available, you will see it listed. Click the update and follow the promptings.
You can update Mac devices by navigating to System Preferences and clicking Software Update. If you can’t find Software Updates, you can also search for it in the search bar.
Those with Apple Watches should also update to the latest version to prevent attacks. You can update your Apple Watch through your connected iPhone. You can also update your Apple Watch directly through the Watch. Before updating, make sure the Watch is at least 50 percent charged.
Protecting Your Smartphone Is Essential
Protecting your smartphones and other Apple devices from both malware attacks and physical damage is essential. Users can trust Apple to release updates as quickly as possible to protect their phones. Likewise, iPhone owners can trust Upsie
to protect their phones from physical damage.
- Manufacturing defects
- Screen cracks
- Liquid damage
- Battery failure
- Camera failure
With Upsie, Apple users get comprehensive protection. In addition, Upsie’s warranties are affordable and often cost up to 70 percent less than warranties from competitors.
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