Image credit : Apple Support
Apple on Monday made its first batch of “rapid security” updates available to the public in an effort to quickly address security flaws that are being actively exploited or represent a serious risk to its users.
The so-called Rapid Security Response upgrades, according to a notification, “deliver important security improvements between software updates.”
To enable Apple users to upgrade their devices more quickly than a standard software update requires, Rapid Security Responses were launched. According to Apple, the feature is turned on by default, and while it’s not always possible, some quick patches can be deployed without a reboot.
Customers who are running iOS 16.4.1, iPadOS 16.4.1, and macOS 13.3.1 will receive the quick security update. After installation, the software version will be prefixed with a letter, such as iOS 16.4.1(a), iPadOS 16.4.1(a), and macOS 13.3.1(a). Users of earlier Apple software versions won’t get the quick security fix. Following software updates will include fixes, according to Apple.
The deployment on Monday, however, hasn’t gone as planned. Some customers reported having trouble installing the update. On an iPhone, iPad, and Mac used for testing by TechCrunch, the upgrades downloaded but were not instantly installed.
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Researchers have recently found new exploits created by spyware producers QuaDream and NSO Group that target iPhone users worldwide. Both spyware producers took advantage of previously unknown flaws in Apple software that let their government clients steal data covertly from a victim’s device.
According to Citizen Lab, at least one NSO-developed exploit that took use of a flaw in Apple’s HomeKit smart home feature was effectively stopped last month. Lockdown Mode was a feature that Apple introduced last year to stop similar targeted attacks.
We will continue to try to upgrade, as you should, given the obvious significance of this most recent security patch.