Apple has urgently released the iOS 17.0.1 and iPadOS 17.0.1 updates, mere days after the launch of the latest operating system. This emergency update comes with a critical warning and is advised for all iPhone and iPad users as soon as possible. The security update is designed to address three critical vulnerabilities. Apple has acknowledged reports that these vulnerabilities may have already been exploited in versions of the iPhone operating system prior to iOS 16.7.
Users who are purchasing the new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max are advised to immediately update their operating system. In line with its usual practice, Apple has not released much information about these vulnerabilities or the exploits that leverage them. This is to prevent potential attackers from creating new exploits before as many users as possible have had the chance to update their devices.
The discovery of CVE-2023-41992 is credited to Bill Marczak of The Citizen Lab at The University of Toronto's Munk School and Maddie Stone of Google's Threat Analysis Group. This is a kernel vulnerability that could allow an attacker to gain higher privileges. The same two security researchers are also credited with discovering both CVE-2023-41991 and CVE-2023-41993. The former involves a certificate validation issue, and a successful exploit could allow an attacker to bypass such validation using a malicious app. The latter vulnerability is within WebKit, and processing content could lead to arbitrary code execution.
These vulnerabilities, CVE-2023-41991 and CVE-2023-41992, also affect Apple Watch users, prompting an emergency security update to watchOS 10.0.1. Given that all three vulnerabilities are known to have been exploited, users are urged to update to the patched versions of iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS as soon as they can. iPhone users can download iOS 17.0.1 by navigating to Settings|General|Software Update. The vulnerabilities impact devices including iPhone XS and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2nd generation and later, iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 11-inch 1st generation and later, iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 6th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later.