Apple has released iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates on Tuesday after an unidentified researcher found that intruders may be able to remotely hack some iPhones, iPads and iPods.
On the company’s support page, Apple described two security threats that have since been fixed in the latest operating system update, version 14.4. Both security threats, Apple said, may have previously been exploited.
The company revealed that one vulnerability, which is connected to the web browser rendering engine, WebKit, may provide remote hackers access to a device.
Patches will arrive with iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4. To update your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update. The device can also update automatically if you’ve toggled on automatic updates.
Apple’s support document on the vulnerabilities states the company will give further details soon. It wouldn’t be surprising if the attacks came from a state-sponsored hacking organisation attempting to spy on high-value targets. (In November, Google security researchers also uncovered a separate trio of iOS flaws that were also under active exploitation.)
Beyond that, iOS 14.4 adds in a few extra features, including the ability to specify what type of Bluetooth device you’ve connected to your iPhone or iPad so it can better track whether your audio levels are way too loud and potentially damaging your hearing. Your iPhone or iPad camera will also be able to correctly identify smaller QR codes, and Apple is fixing a bunch of iPhone bugs with this release:
- “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 in 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”
- Apple is also adding one new turn into your iPhone 12 (and variants): your phone will now give you a “warning” if it recognises that its camera isn’t a “new, genuine Apple camera.” You’ll see the warning on your lock screen for the first four days after someone has repaired your device, and it’ll also appear in the settings app for a full half of a month. Your camera will still work—as best it can if you have it replaced at some random repair store—but this will just be a bit of a hassle you’ll have to deal with.