Apple’s recent iOS 16.5 update brought with it a host of bug fixes for the iPhone lock screen and Safari, but the company has now issued an important follow-up patch for a pair of more sinister security vulnerabilities.
iOS 16.5.1 – which is now available to download to anyone who owns an iPhone 8 or newer – addresses a major security flaw that allows hackers to access all (yes: all) of the personal data stored on users’ iPhones.
According to The Washington Post, attackers have been sending iMessages containing malicious attachments that infect and grant access to iPhones running versions of iOS 15.7 or earlier. This particular vulnerability was first detected in Russia, where thousands of devices have reportedly been affected.
iOS 16.5.1 also patches an issue related to WebKit, the browser engine used in Apple’s Safari app. Again, hackers have been exploiting a vulnerability in this engine to steal users’ personal data without their knowledge.
For more granular details about both vulnerabilities – which are officially tracked as CVE-2023-32434 and CVE-2023-32435 – Apple has published a dedicated Support post. To download iOS 16.5.1 on your device right now, simply head to Settings > General > Software Update. If you haven't updated your iPhone since iOS 15, here's how to update your iPhone to iOS 16.
It's worth adding that we're not entirely sure which versions of iOS are currently vulnerable to the above issues. According to The Washington Post, Apple says that any iPhone equipped with iOS 15.8 or newer is already protected against the vulnerabilities in question – but those running iOS 16.5 are being actively encouraged to download iOS 16.5.1, too.
That said, iOS 16.5.1 also addresses three annoying issues related to core iPhone functions and apps, which makes it an important update for all iPhone users.
For instance, hundreds of iPhone users have been reporting faster-than-usual battery drain after downloading iOS 16.5 on their iPhones, and although we recently sought to reassure users that this annoying battery hiccup is completely normal, Apple has reportedly bundled a fix into iOS 16.5.1 for those who have been dealing with the issue for some time.
The update patches a bug that's causing iPhone users’ Wi-Fi to disconnect automatically, too, as well as an issue relating to inaccurate Weather app information.