Apple releases emergency iOS update for millions of older iPads and iPhones

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Apple has rolled out an emergency update to millions of older iPads and iPhones around the world. iOS 12.5.6 is the first update to iOS 12 in nearly a year and fixes a critical security flaw, which Apple says is being “actively exploited” by hackers.

The version is available for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3 and iPod touch (6th generation) – all devices who cannot receive iOS 13 and newer.

On its official security page, Apple confirms that the vulnerability (CVE-2022-32893) was discovered by an anonymous researcher and could be exploited to execute malicious code on devices.

For eagle-eyed readers, the CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) number might sound familiar, and that’s because it’s the same vulnerability that Apple recently patched for new iPhones and iPads with iOS 15.6.1 / iPadOS 15.6.1 and Macs with macOS 12.5.1. The flaw is rooted in WebKit, Apple’s Safari web browser engine.

Apple’s developer site states that only 4% of actively used iPhones and 10% of actively used iPads are still running a version of iOS/iPadOS 14. That said, with Apple confirming that it has over 1.8 billion active devices, which still equates to 10 seconds from millions of older iPhones and iPads.

Apple deserves great credit for its continued security support. While companies have to draw a line somewhere, the iPhone 5S is now eight years old, and the longest security support offered by Google and Samsung is five years.

No, you probably don’t use an iPhone 5S or iPad 3 as your primary device anymore, but they can double as kids’ phones, baby monitors, and more. All of this allows Apple to continue to successfully sell the message that you get what you pay for.

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