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It’s always exciting whenever Apple releases a new update for the iOS operating system. One of the biggest features to debut alongside iOS 14.0 back in the fall were widgets – tiles that you could use to further customize your “Home” screen and get important information at a glance.
Recently, Apple released the iOS 14.5 operating system on the world and while it does have some interesting additions as far as features are concerned, it also includes security fixes for more than 50 (!) different vulnerabilities.
Indeed, one of the major reasons why iOS updates are so important to download is because in addition to those new features, they include a host of different “under the hood” 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 than that, Apple admitted that this vulnerability has likely already been “actively 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 why this is so (potentially) devastating has to do with a concept called remote code execution, or RCE for short. Essentially, an attacker would be able to use this technique to take full control over 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 necessary 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 you’re able to. 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 do so while on a Wi-Fi connection 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.
Apple iPhone 6 iOS Update flickr photo by Håkan Dahlström shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license