Apple users urged to install zero-day patch amid fresh spyware fears

Apple has issued its second rapid response emergency patch for zero-day exploits, this one for iPads, iPhones, and Macs. And cybersecurity watchdog Sophos’ advice is to “run it now.”

“Speed is of the essence.” That’s the verdict from Sophos on the Apple patches released yesterday for the latest versions of macOS Ventura 13.4.1, iOS 16.5.1, and iPadOS 16.5.1, as well as older models macOS Big Sur and Monterey.

Zero-day exploits are defined as a system vulnerability that has been exploited by a threat actor or cybercriminal before the ‘good guys’ or cybersecurity professionals had a chance to get to it.

Or as Sophos bluntly puts it, “the crooks found this one first, which in turn means: do not delay, simply do it today.”

“These latest patches should be considered critical,” it added. “We’re assuming that they’re associated with a live spyware or malware attack that’s happening right now.”

At the time of writing, there appear to be no further patches issued for other Apple platforms, “even though it’s possible that iOS 15, still officially supported on older iPhones and iPads, is affected too, along with Apple Watches and TVs,” according to Sophos.

The watchdog further urges Apple device users to keep their eyes on Apple’s general Security Portal and the new Rapid Security Response page for further information about updates for other systems.

It further advises consumers with affected devices to head to Settings, General, and Software Update, to check whether they have “correctly received and installed this emergency patch yet, and to jump to the front of the queue if you haven’t.”

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