Apple patches security bug on Macs, plus older iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches

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iPhone 6s colors
If you’re still rocking an iPhone 6S, Apple has an iOS update for you.
Photo: Apple

Apple introduced iOS 12.4.2 to fix a security bug that was found by Google Project Zero. After Tuesday’s launch of iOS 13.1, now seems an odd time to be updating last year’s version, but this patch is for iPhones and iPads made in 2014 and before that can’t upgrade to the new version.

In addition, the company released watchOS 5.3.2 for early Apple Watch models. Plus there’s a fresh security update for macOS Mojave 10.14.6. All take care of the same bug.

Toddler renders iPad unusable for 49 years

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A toddler till be eligible for AARP before he can unlock his dad’s iPad.
A toddler till be eligible for AARP before he can unlock his dad’s iPad.
Photo: Pexels

A New Yorker writer discovered the dangers of allowing his young child to play with his iPad. The toddler entered so many unsuccessful unlock attempts that the tablet can’t be accessed until 2068.

DNC urges Democrats to dump Android for iPhone

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GrayKey can bypass iPhone security
iPhone security impresses the new head of information security at the Democratic National Party.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Democratic National Committee has a solution for improving its smartphone security: switch to iPhone. It suggests that Democratic organizations get rid of all their Android devices.

This is especially true if the phones are from ZTE, a company with ties to the Chinese government.

Global elites’ love of iPhone made iOS a prime target of CIA

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The CIA's new headquarters.
The CIA's new headquarters in McLean, Virginia.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Although Google’s Android dominates the worldwide smartphone market, the CIA concentrated on Apple’s iOS because of its popularity among global elites, WikiLeaks reports.

The huge trove of leaked CIA documents, codenamed “Vault 7” and released Tuesday by WikiLeaks, reveals that the CIA formed a special unit called the Mobile Development Branch (MDB) to infect smartphones. And within that unit, Apple’s iOS was a prime target.

iOS 9 review: It’s all about speed

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Here's what time iOS 9 is landing in your area.
iOS 9 is going to shift your mobile life into the fast lane.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iOS 9 won’t shock you with a bunch of whiz-bang new features or a drastic new look, but in many ways, Apple’s latest mobile operating system is more important than its two immediate predecessors. While iOS 7 and iOS 8 laid a foundation that embraced the future of mobile design, iOS 9 is making all those changes worth a damn.

Apple drops iOS 9 today, bringing a more intelligent UI, better built-in apps, a smarter Siri and much more. Our iOS 9 review shows how the new software makes everything you do on your iPhone or iPad easier — and far faster — than ever before.

How to avoid fake iOS crash scam that wants to steal your cash

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Give us your money, or the iPhone gets it!
Give us your money, or the iPhone gets it!
Photo: Cult of Mac

An iOS scam designed to cheat people out of money is being reported by users in both the United States and the U.K.

A number of iPhone and iPad users have received pop-up notifications on their devices informing them that iOS has crashed, that their personal data is being stolen by a third party, and that the only way to solve the problem is (surprise!) to pay between $19 and $80 for a fix.

Sounds legit. Where do we send our money?

1,500 iOS apps have this serious security flaw. Find out if your iPhone’s at risk.

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Next time you're rock climbing or engaging in some other crazy adventure with your iPhone, be sure to take along this sweet leash system from Kenu. The Highline Security Leash starts with a protective, texturized polycarbonate iPhone case that's thin enough to put in your pocket but tough enough to protect from random damage.


The killer feature here, though, is the bungee-cord leash, which solidly locks into your iPhone's Lightning port as well as a notch in the back of the case, making for a secure connection. There's a version for the iPhone 6 ($29.95) and a stronger one for iPhone 6 Plus ($34.95), so you know your lifeline device will always stick nearby, letting you feel secure as you whip it out while skiing down a crazy slope this winter. — Rob LeFebvre


Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac


Buy from: Amazon
Is your iPhone running compromised apps? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
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A serious security flaw affecting approximately 1,500 iOS apps makes them vulnerable to hackers looking to swipe passwords, bank account info and other sensitive data, according to a new report.

The bug, which security analytics firm SourceDNA identified last month, has been fixed in an update to the open-source code that contained the vulnerability. However, some app makers have not yet updated to the newer version.

Luckily, you can search to see if your favorite apps are vulnerable.