iOS 14.4.1 squashes dangerous Safari security bug

By

iOS 14.4.1 and iPadOS 14.4.1 and watchOS 7.3.2
Apple recommends you install iOS 14.4.1 on your iPhone to fix a security problem. And there are iPad and Apple Watch equivalents.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

iPhone users should install iOS 14.4.1, which Apple released Monday entirely to kill a bug in the Safari web browser. Obviously, Apple considers it a significant enough threat to devote an entire software update to justify it.

There’s also an equivalent iPadOS 14.4.1 version. Plus, the newly released watchOS 7.3.2 deals with the same security problem, as does macOS Big Sur 11.2.3.

Removes a wicked WebKit bug

The iOS 14.4.1 release note says only, “This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.”

But Apple had more to say when describing the security content of the new version of iOS. Due to the bug, “processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution.” And the iPhone-maker goes on to promise, “a memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.”

This was an urgent enough problem that the update never underwent developer or public testing. Apple sent it directly to release.

There are apparently no other changes. But Apple is in the midst of testing iOS 14.5, iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, which will usher in a raft of new features, like using an Apple Watch to easily unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask.

How to install iOS 14.4.1, iPadOS 14.4.1 and watchOS 7.3.2

Install iOS 14.4.1 or iPadOS 14.4.1 by connecting to a Mac, or to a PC running iTunes. Alternatively, an over-the-air update is also possible. That’s accomplished by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update.

Monday’s update can be installed directly onto the Apple Watch, as long as the wearable is connected to Wi-Fi. From the Settings app, just navigate to General > Software Update. Then tap Download and Install. Alternatively, this update can be installed from an iPhone by opening the Apple Watch app and going to My Watch > General > Software Update. Note: Cupertino says the Apple Watch needs to be connected to its charger during installation.

For Mac, go to Apple menu  > System Preferences > Software Update. You should see macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 listed as an available update. When you’re ready to install, simply click Update Now.