Apple Released a Slew of Updates to Plug Hole about Spyware

Image: The Australian

Apple released a series of updates a day before the company’s expected iPhone 13 release. The hot news is not only iOS 14.8 and iPadOS 14.8, but also watchOS 7.6.2 and macOS 11.6 Big Sur. You will definitely want to update your iPhone, iPad, Watch and Mac. According to the New York Times, this update will fill a security hole that allows spyware to be installed on Apple devices without the user’s knowledge.

iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, watchOS 7.6.2 and macOS 11.6 Big Sur are the surprise versions that land on people’s devices today, and there is no beta version. According to reports, Apple is scrambling to release these updates after learning of the spyware flaw in Citizen Lab last week. A team of security researchers from a security watchdog discovered spyware on the iPhones of Saudi activists.

This spyware called Pegasus was created by the Israeli NSO organization and can infect any iPhone, iPad, Mac or Watch. Previous versions required users to click on links in emails or text, but this is no longer the case. This latest vulnerability is described as a zero-click vulnerability, allowing spyware to be installed without user action.

Once installed, spyware is the ultimate spy tool. It can remain undetected on the user's device for up to six months. During this time, it can turn on the camera or microphone to record the conversation. It can also record text messages and phone calls.

Do you think it is safe for you to use encryption tools? Think again. Pegasus can even intercept encrypted communications from applications such as Signal. All this data can then be sent to NSO customers of government entities around the world. Apple's security team told the New York Times that the company is developing an update for iOS 15 to block such spyware in the future.

These latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS are provided as wireless updates, and users can download them immediately on all compatible devices. You should update all devices as soon as possible.

How to update an iOS device
iPhone and iPad users can update to iOS 14.8 by opening "Settings" and going to "General"> "Software Update". Then follow the instructions to download and install the update. Users who enable auto-update will automatically receive the new version when you plug in your phone and charge it overnight.

How to update Apple Watch
Watch owners can upgrade by opening the Watch app on the connected iPhone. Make sure that Apple Watch has at least 50% power and is connected to the charger. Open the Watch app and select General> Software Update. Follow the instructions on the screen to install the update. Once again, those who have enabled automatic updates will receive the update when they charge their watch overnight.

How to update Mac
Last but not least, Mac users can download macOS 11.6 Big Sur by opening "System Preferences" and finding "Software Update". Then follow the installation instructions to download and install the update. Make sure that your Mac is fully charged or connected to a charger.