Latest iPhone Software Update ‘Addresses Some Serious Problems’

Apple released its iOS 10.2.1 recently, and many users probably hit “remind me later” more than a few times. But a new report on the content of the update sheds a little light on it: you should probably update this one sooner rather than later.

The response to software updates runs the full spectrum from uber-excitement over the possibility of new features, to looking forward to it about as much as a trip to the dentist. Some updates and upgrades, like the notorious Windows 10 upgrade, make headlines long, long after they’re complete. Others, like the pesky little red notification in your Settings from time to time, are more of a minor annoyance.

a new report on the content of iOS 10.2.1 raises security concerns

Latest iPhone Software Update ‘Addresses Some Serious Problems’

Except when they’re released by the developer in order to close some open security holes that potentially let hackers in. Paying attention now, are we?

First, as News.Com.Au points out, let’s dispel with the rumor about a new “cinema mode” feature that dims the screen for use in a venue like a concert or movie theater. There’s been a lot of backlash from around the country as movie theaters have taken to ejecting patrons who turn on their phones during a film. It’s partly to thwart video piracy, but also just to keep you from being that jerk who lights up the movie theater to text while everyone else is enjoying their $12 bag of popcorn and $15 ticket.

But the update does address some serious problems. In an interview with Wired magazine, Malwarebytes senior security research JP Taggart said that if left unchecked, hackers can “add files, delete files, or execute any actions. Want to record conversations and forward them to someone else? It can do that. Want to install additional malicious software? It can do that. Want to uninstall programs on the affected phone? It can do that. Want to hide these actions, programs and files from the user? It can do that too.”

Some iOS updates have been problematic in the past, so it’s understandable that users might be cautious about blithely downloading this one, or at the very least wanting to wait until they were sure they wouldn’t need their phones for several minutes. Unfortunately, the risk of skipping this one is too great to ignore.

Apple’s macOS has also come under the spotlight recently with the first Mac malware of 2017 being detected by antivirus software publisher Malwarebytes.

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