I know a lot of other Apple news is happening today, but if you’re reading it on a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch (well, the latter may be stretched), you should probably pause and update this device – today’s update fixes a problem with security, which Apple says may have been actively exploited.
The updates contained in iOS / iPadOS 14.5.1, macOS 11.3.1, and watchOS 7.4.1 are intended to fix random code execution exploits available in WebKit, Apple’s framework that displays most of the web content that you see on your device (unless I’m using, say, Chrome or Firefox on a Mac). In normal language, updates patch a hole that allows malicious websites to run unverified code on your device, so it̵
If you have an older device, such as the iPhone 5 or 6, iPad Air or Mini 2 and 3, Apple has also released iOS 12.5.3, which addresses the shortcomings of WebKit.
If this story sounds a little familiar, it’s because there are two recent updates, iOS 14.4 and 14.4.2, that have closed similar security holes. Even if you don’t think you need to update because you’re using an alternate web browser on your Mac or browsing the web on your Apple Watch (for obvious reasons), it’s still worth updating all the devices you have – WebKit can be used in unexpected places and it is never good for your devices to open security holes, especially those that may have been exploited.