Apple patches dangerous security hole in iOS 12 | Cult of Mac

Apple patches dangerous security hole in iOS 12

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Mac malware is real. Watch out.
Hackers are aware of an iPhone security hole, but iOS 12.5.6 takes care of the problem for older Apple devices.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Older iPhone and iPad models that can’t be updated to iOS 15 got a patch on Wednesday to fix a security hole that might have been used by hackers. Devices dating back to 2013’s iPhone 5S can install iOS 12.5.6 to fix the problem.

Newer models can install the recently released iOS 15.6.1 or iPadOS 15.6.1 to accomplish the same.

Install iOS 12.5.6 to stay safe

Nothing as complex as a modern operating system is every 100% perfect, though Apple, Google, Microsoft etc. close security holes whenever they turn up. The most dangerous of these are ones that hackers have already discovered and are taking advantage of.

And that’s the case with a WebKit problem that’s fixed by iOS 12.5.6 as well as iOS 15.6.1. The security hole allows a hacker to create a webpage that allows the hacker to execute code without users’ permission. It comes with a warning from the iPhone-maker, “Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”

The patch is for iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch (6th generation). These are older devices for which iOS 12.x is the most-recent OS they can run.

Apple continues to update iOS 12 when significant security holes turn up. The last occurrence was iOS 12.5.5 in fall 2021 to block Pegasus spyware.

Install the iPhone security patch now

iPhone and iPad users that need iOS 12.5.6 can install it with with an over-the-air update.That’s accomplished by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update. Alternatively, connect the device to a Mac, or to a PC running iTunes.

The same process allows more recent Apple handsets and tablets to install iOS 15.6.1 or iPadOS 15.6.1, which fixes this and another security hole.