It’s not every day that you read news about Apple getting alarmed by threats enough to “urge” every single one of its users to update their phones. Normally, folks look to Apple as the greatest example of a tech company that is inherently able to resist the typical hacks that so often plague the traditional PCs. You remember the old commercials, right? See below for a refresher. Anyway, even with Apple’s great track record of success and ability to ward off hackers, they seem to be quite concerned with a recent threat.
According to Apple, the company says there “may have been actively exploited” security flaws that, in order to be mitigated, require users to promptly update their iPhone operating systems.
To be sure, the latest update, as of writing this blog post, is the iOS 14.4 software. Not only will it fix the security flaws, but it will also help with other benign issues like fixing lag time on the keyboard and making the camera better able to read small QR codes.
Trying to explain the seriousness of the situation, Apple shared the following (unhelpful) statement: “A remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution.”
Translation: “A hacker can mess up your phone big time.”
While updating an iPhone can be really annoying, because it requires a certain amount of available memory (which often requires users to dump old photos or apps), takes a long time, and requires a certain battery charge, this update is not one to push aside. The fact that Apple is alerting us to this means that something big is afoot. And my hunch is that Apple isn’t really telling us the full magnitude of their concern. So, I’ll avoid taking my chances and will go ahead and update my operating system today.