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iOS 16.6, macOS 13.5 and watchOS 9.6 Rolled Out by Apple With Fixes for Actively Exploited Security Flaws

iOS 16.6, iPadOS 16.6, macOS 13.5, watchOS 9.6 get fixes for Neural Engine security vulnerabilities that allowed remote execution of malicious code.

iOS 16.6, macOS 13.5 and watchOS 9.6 Rolled Out by Apple With Fixes for Actively Exploited Security Flaws

iOS 16.6 includes fixes for a Find My flaw that could reveal sensitive location information

  • Apple has rolled out updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and more
  • The updates do not add new features but fix several security flaws
  • Apple has advised users to install its latest software updates

iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 began rolling out on Monday as the latest software updates for iPhone and iPad. Apple says the update includes fixes for vulnerabilities affecting the company's Neural Engine, the Find My service, and kernel-level patches for flaws that would allow malicious users to remotely compromise the security of an affected device. The Cupertino company also rolled out macOS 13.5, watchOS 9.6, and tvOS 16.6 with important fixes for security flaws, weeks ahead of the expected release of Apple's major software version updates, including iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma.

The update to iOS 16.6, iPadOS 16.6, macOS 13.5, tvOS 16.6, and watchOS 9.6 is now available to download on compatible devices and Apple has recommended that users download its latest software updates, which include important security fixes. You can open the Settings app on compatible devices and tap — or click — on General > Software Update > Download and Install, then connect your device to a charger and wait for the update to download and install.

According to details shared by the company, the latest iOS 16.6, iPadOS 16.6, macOS 13.5, and watchOS 9.6 updates include fixes for security vulnerabilities related to Apple's Neural Engine — the technology used by Apple for natural language processing and on-device machine learning capabilities — that would allow an app to execute malicious code on the device.

The updates also include fixes for a flaw in the Find My app that would allow an app to read sensitive location information, according to the release notes for the latest iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS software releases. Meanwhile, macOS 13.5 also includes important security patches that mitigate vulnerabilities that could allow a sandboxed process to circumvent security restrictions, or allow an app to access user-sensitive data via the Voice Memos app.

All of the updates released by Apple also include fixes for multiple vulnerabilities affecting WebKit, the company's open-source browser engine that powers its Safari browser. According to Apple's release notes, these fixes are designed to mitigate flaws that would allow malicious code to be executed or disclose sensitive information when the browser processes web content.

Apple also says that it is aware of reports that some of these security issues have been actively exploited by malicious users, which means that users who have compatible iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV models should download and install the update as soon as possible.

Over the coming weeks, Apple is expected to roll out updates to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 — there's no release timeline for these updates, but the company typically rolls out new software versions in September. These updates are likely to arrive ahead of the launch of Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro series of smartphones, which are expected to arrive later this year.

Will the Nothing Phone 2 serve as the successor to the Phone 1, or will the two co-exist? We discuss the company's recently launched handset and more on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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David Delima
As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, on Twitter at @DxDavey, and Mastodon at mstdn.social/@delima. More
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