Recently, Apple released the iOS 14.5 operating system. While it has some interesting new features, it is primarily about security fixes for more than 50 (!) different vulnerabilities.
iOS 14.5 and Security: An Overview
One of the major reasons why iOS updates are so important is because they include a host of different fixes that help make devices more secure.
One of the vulnerabilities fixed with this new update includes a problem that was discovered with WebKit storage. In certain situations, processing “maliciously crafted web content” could lead to “arbitrary code execution” – meaning that hackers could essentially use this technique to take over your phone remotely. More importantly, Apple admitted that this vulnerability has likely already been “exploited” – meaning that if you’re an iPhone owner, you should download the new update for this reason alone.
Some of the other vulnerabilities fixed in the new update include one that could allow an attacker to read sensitive data on your device, provided that they had the right piece of software.
One of the reasons this is harmful has to do with a concept called remote code execution, or RCE for short. Essentially, an attacker could use this technique to take full control of your iPhone – and at that point, there’s really no limit to the amount of information they can steal and damage they can do. This is especially true if they’re taking advantage of multiple vulnerabilities at the same time.
Beyond that, details are somewhat scarce because Apple doesn’t actually go into much detail about exactly which vulnerabilities are being patched with any given operating system update. They’ll reveal how many have been addressed, but they don’t necessarily want to divulge more than that out of fear of calling attention to a problem that will affect iPhone users around the world.
Regardless, if you’re an iPhone owner, you should download the new update as soon as possible. Sometimes, people choose to wait on major operating system updates until all of the bugs are ironed out. While it’s true that a potential iOS 14.5.1 is likely right around the corner, you should still update now to make sure that your device is as protected as it can be moving forward.
You can update your phone while you are connected to Wi-Fi by opening the “Settings” application on your iPhone and navigating to the “Software Update” option. You can also allow updates to happen automatically in the future so that they’re immediately downloaded and installed as soon as they become available to the general public.
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