Apple fixes safety holes in new variations of iOS, macOS and watchOS


Enlarge / The iPhone 12 mini.

Samuel Axon

Apple today released new versions of its iOS and iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur and watchOS 7 operating systems. The updates appear just a day before Apple is expected to reveal its new iPhone and Apple Watch models, as well as the release dates for iOS 15 and watchOS 8.

These updates are all security-related and do not add any new features or functions.

In particular, two main issues were addressed on Apple’s platforms, one with Core Graphics and the other with WebKit. In either case, maliciously crafted content (PDFs or web content) could be used in the execution of arbitrary code. Apple also says these updates fix an issue that allows attackers to bypass Apple’s protection, which is designed to stop code execution through messages.

The updates are named iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, watchOS 7.6.2 and macOS Big Sur 11.6.

Apple typically does not release security updates in the 14.x version instead of the 14.xx version format. Usually, updates with one decimal place add new functionality in addition to fixing bugs or security vulnerabilities.

These updates are the first for Apple’s operating systems in several weeks, but will likely be the last in this annual cycle. The company is likely to announce the launch dates for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 during its livestream event tomorrow.

These major updates will introduce numerous new features that were announced at the company’s developer conference in June – although some of the announced iOS 15 features have already been postponed to later updates in the iOS 15 cycle.