Smartphones and tablets are vulnerable to a range of cyber attacks such as phishing, malware, and hacking. Cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in the smartphone’s operating system, apps, or user behavior to gain access to sensitive information, install malicious software, or take control of the device remotely.
To help protect your devices from cyber attacks, it is important to keep your device’s operating system and apps up to date, use strong and unique passwords or biometric authentication, avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading untrusted apps, and enable remote wipe and tracking features in case the device is lost or stolen.
TechCrunch reports that Apple updated the operating systems for the iPhone and iPad today, releasing iOS 16.3.1 and iPadOS 16.3.1, to address a vulnerability that was being used by hackers to break into Apple devices.
Apple said that they are “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited”. Apple employs this phrase when someone informs the company that they have noticed hackers using a bug to attack targets in the real world as opposed to a vulnerability discovered by a researcher in a controlled environment.
Apple said the discovery was made by an unnamed researcher and expressed gratitude to Citizen Lab for helping the company. Citizen Lab is a digital rights research group.
This most recent vulnerability affected WebKit, Apple’s Safari browser engine, which has always been a favourite target for hackers since it allows access to the rest of the device’s data.
To learn more about the bug, you can head over to Apple’s security update page.