The Indian Government issues a warning to Apple users with older OS on iPhones and iPads, urging them to promptly update their devices

Technology

CERT-In has identified critical vulnerabilities in outdated Apple iPhone and iPad operating systems, leading to an immediate advisory for users to update their devices in order to thwart potential remote attacks aimed at gaining control over user devices.

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has issued a high-severity warning to Apple users, alerting them to critical vulnerabilities affecting various Apple products. This warning, designated as CERT-In’s Vulnerability Note CIVN-2023-0303, was released on October 14, 2023, and focuses on multiple vulnerabilities found within Apple’s iOS and iPadOS.

CERT-In operates under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India and serves as the nation’s cybersecurity agency. It routinely monitors the digital landscape and publishes vulnerability notes to expose cyber threats. In its recent advisory, CERT-In highlighted significant threats linked to these vulnerabilities in iOS and iPadOS devices. Specifically, these vulnerabilities result from inadequate validation within the kernel component and a buffer overflow issue within the WebRTC component. Remote attackers could potentially exploit these vulnerabilities by sending meticulously crafted requests to the targeted system.

The successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could grant a remote attacker elevated privileges, allowing them to execute arbitrary code on the compromised system. In simple terms, this means that malicious actors could gain full control over the user’s device, presenting a significant security risk.

Apple devices affected by these vulnerabilities include Apple iPhone and iPad with iOS and iPadOS versions preceding 16.7.1. This includes Apple iOS and iPadOS versions before 16.7.1, commonly used on devices such as iPhone 8 and later, all models of iPad Pro, iPad Air (3rd generation) and later, iPad (5th generation) and later, and iPad mini (5th generation) and later.

To safeguard against these vulnerabilities, CERT-In recommends that users promptly apply the appropriate updates provided by Apple through their security updates. Apple has already issued fixes for these vulnerabilities within their security updates, available at support.apple.com/en-us/HT213972.

It’s crucial to note that Apple consistently releases patches and updates to address security concerns, and users of affected devices should promptly install these updates to reduce the risks associated with these identified vulnerabilities. Failure to do so may leave the device vulnerable to potential exploitation by malicious actors.

In addition to enhancing security, updating devices offers additional benefits:

  1. Compatibility: New software releases may require more recent OS versions, and failing to update the OS could restrict your ability to run the latest software.
  2. Performance: OS updates often enhance system performance by including bug fixes and optimizations.
  3. Features: OS updates can introduce new features to your system, potentially improving productivity or user experience.

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