Apple issued emergency software updates Thursday for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that patch security vulnerabilities the company says may have been actively exploited. Among other things, the release notes for iOS 17.0.1, iPadOS 17.0.1 and watchOS 10.0.1 indicate the updates fix a problem that could allow a malicious app to bypass signature validation.
The updates, which Apple recommends all users download as soon as possible, come just days after the company pushed its latest operating systems live. However, if you plan to pick up an iPhone 15 tomorrow, you might want to hold off. If you update your current phone to iOS 17.0.1, you would need to update your new iPhone as well before setting it up from a backup.
Emergency bug fixes for iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10
But they also apparently shipped with some worrisome security defects. Today’s updates patch three problems identified in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, according to Apple:
- Kernel: “A local attacker may be able to elevate their privileges.”
- Security: “A malicious app may be able to bypass signature validation.”
- WebKit: “A malicious app may be able to bypass signature validation.”
The watchOS update addresses the first two concerns. In all three cases, Apple said it “is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS before iOS 16.7.”
Quick bug fixes after major releases less typical
Releasing security updates and bug fixes for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch this soon after major software releases for the gear is somewhat unusual.
Apple says the updates apply to “iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later.”
As usual, you can download them on your iPhone or iPad by going to Settings, selecting General and clicking on Software Update.
Those who can’t update to the newest software or choose not to can get the new iOS 16.7, macOS 13.6/12.7, watchOS 9.6.3 and iPadOS 16.7 releases to fix the security problems.
Apple releases final macOS Sonoma beta
Also Thursday, Apple released the macOS Sonoma release candidate, likely to be the final beta version ahead of the Mac operating system’s public release next week.
Here’s Apple’s summary of it:
macOS Sonoma brings all new capabilities that elevate your productivity and creativity. Discover even more ways to personalize your Mac with stunning screensavers and widgets that you can add to your desktop. Elevate your presence on video calls with a new way to present your work that keeps you a part of the presentation. Safari profiles and web apps help you organize your browsing in all-new ways. Game Mode boosts your gaming performance. Sonoma also brings big updates to Messages, Keyboard, and Accessibility. And when you upgrade, you get the latest security and privacy protections available for Mac.
The macOS Sonoma RC beta for developers and public testers often comes only days before the final version of the software goes out for final public release. Apple plans to release macOS Sonoma on September 26.