Apple has launched iOS 15.7 for iPhone and iPadOS 15.7 for iPad to fix several dangerous vulnerabilities, including one which was exploited in the wild.
- What’s happening? iOS and iPadOS 15.7 are now available alongside iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 today (you can update to iOS 16 without installing iOS 15.7 first).
- Why care? Whenever Apple releases a quick bug-fix update out of the blue, you can bet that it fixes some dangerous zero-day vulnerability.
- What to do? Go to Settings → Software Update to install iOS 15.7 right now.
iOS 15.7 and iPadOS 15.7 are now available
“This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users,” reads the description in the iOS 15.7 changelog on Apple’s website. Apple also provides a separate support document providing details about security updates for Apple software, and it looks like iOS 15.7 fixes a whole bunch of vulnerabilities.
The support document lists two WebKit vulnerabilities, one in Shortcuts, one in the Safari Extensions system, another in the Safari browser, one in Contacts, one in Maps, four in the iOS kernel and one in the media library system. Crucially, iOS 15.7 and iPadOS 15.6 fix all the listed vulnerabilities.
Bugs in the kernel are especially dangerous because the kernel is low-level software that handles the CPU, memory, I/O and so forth. The kernel flaws that iOS and iPadOS 15.7 fix could be used to avoid Apple’s protections and execute rogue code with kernel privileges, disclose kernel memory and so on.
One vulnerability was probably especially nasty because Apple notes it’s “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”
iOS 15.7 is available for iPhone 6s and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5 and later, iPad mini 4 and later and the seventh-generation iPod touch.
How to install iOS 15.7 and iPadOS 15.7
To download and install iOS 15.7 and iPadOS 15.7 without losing any data, use Apple’s built-in Software Update feature in the Settings app.
- Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
- Choose ”General” from the root list.
- Now select “Software Update”.
- On the Software Update screen, hit “Install” next to iOS 15.7 or iPadOS 15.7.
The device must be plugged into power and connected to the internet with Wi-Fi for the update to install. You’re also advised to back up your device using iCloud or a computer before updating its software. Read: How to update AirTag software