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Apple issue warning to all iPhone users to update following new iOS 17.4

Apple issue warning to all iPhone users to update following new iOS 17.4

Apple has finally released its new iOS update.

Apple has finally released its long-awaited iOS 17.4 update for the iPhone, and it's urging users to install it as soon as possible.

This is because, alongside a host of other changes, iOS 17.4 also brings fixes for a range of security vulnerabilities, some of which are being exploited in attacks.

Whenever it releases one of these chunky software updates for its iPhones (or, indeed, the equivalent for iPads or Macs) Apple tends to go into a little detail not just on the new features, but also on security loopholes that it's closing.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

This time around, a support page about the update has some interesting information about at least two vulnerabilities that iOS 17.4 has fixed.

One concerns a kernel-level problem - a kernel being the very core of a software package. Apple's notice says that 'an attacker with arbitrary kernel read and write capability may be able to bypass kernel memory protections'.

That sounds fairly ropey, and to add to that Apple says that it 'is aware of a report that this issue may have been exploited'.

This means that malicious hackers and malware-makers may have been using this issue to their advantage - but they now won't be able to thanks to the new update.

Another notice concerns RTKit, an under-the-hood part of a real-time operating system - Apple indicates that the same sort of exploit could have been used to get through to access personal. It might also have been exploited by bad actors, so an urgent solution has been included in iOS 17.4.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

The good news is that, even if you can't install the update for a little while, the actual requirements for these hacks to target you are pretty steep.

Sean Wright, head of application security at Featurespace, told Forbes: "Attackers would need to try to get the victim to install a malicious application or exploit a previous vulnerability that has not been patched."

That said, the whole update is a bit of a touchy subject at the moment. Apple has made changes in iOS 17.4 in the EU to comply with the new Digital Markets Act, meaning users will be able to install apps from sources other than the App Store - and the tech giant has argued that it will make iPhones less secure.

Still, for now, the thing that has been most quickly noticed about iOS 17.4 is that it's added a new screen whenever you set up a new iPhone, asking you what web browser you'd like to use, rather than just defaulting to Safari.

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty