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Users Beware: Apple Announces Security Flaw Affecting iPhones, iPads, and Macs

Users are encouraged to update their devices—even if they have an iPod touch.

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The security issue is affecting macOS Monterey 12.5.1, iOS 15.6.1, and iPadOS 15.6.1.
The security issue is affecting macOS Monterey 12.5.1, iOS 15.6.1, and iPadOS 15.6.1.
Image: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Apple has warned of a major security flaw in some recent operating systems of Mac, iPhones, iPads, and some iPods that could allow hackers to take control of your devices.

The company revealed the issue in two separate announcements on Wednesday—one describing the issue with macOS Monterey 12.5.1 and one describing the issue with iOS 15.6.1 and iPad OS 15.6.1. Apple says that these vulnerabilities affect two different parts of the operating systems: the kernel and the WebKit. A kernel is a program at the center of a computer’s OS that interfaces between the operating system and the hardware, while WebKit is the engine that powers Apple’s own Safari as well as any browser used on iOS.

This security exploit, which was discovered by an anonymous researcher, can “execute arbitrary code,” which basically means a hacker could run whatever code they want on your device. Apple says in their releases that they have received a report that this exploit may have been abused on Mac and iPhone/iPad, but didn’t disclose how may people may have been impacted. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is update your devices if you’re running one of the affected operating systems.

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For Mac: Click the Apple menu in the top left-hand corner of your Mac and choose System Preferences. Click Software Update, which should be on the bottom left half of the window, and if you have an update available, click Update Now.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch: Tap the Setting application, and navigate to General, and then Software Update. If you have a software update available, tap Download and Install (you may need to be connected to WiFi).