Apple Fixes Security Vulnerabilities with Releases of iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, macOS 11.6, and watchOS 7.6.2

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Ahead of tomorrow's “California streaming” event, Apple has released iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, macOS 11.6, and watchOS 7.6.2. The main changes in these releases are two security updates. Apple has also released a security update for macOS Catalina, however, this has just the one security fix.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple says that the updates address security vulnerabilities that “may have been actively exploited in the wild:”

Most notably, Apple says that iOS 14.8 and iPadOS 14.8 both address CoreGraphics and WebKit vulnerabilities that may have been actively exploited. The CoreGraphics vulnerability was reported by The Citizen Lab, which discovered a zero-click iPhone attack that defeated Apple’s Blastdoor protections back in August.

The vulnerability reported by The Citizen Lab is believed to have been used to target Bahraini activists whose iPhones were successfully hacked with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.

The full details on today’s security updates can be found at the following links:

As these updates appear to have been released to address a small number of specific issues, our expectation is that they do not contain any accessibility changes for blind and low vision users; however, if you notice any changes, improvements or regressions in your own use of these releases, please post a comment with your findings.

How to update

iOS 14.8 and iPadOs 14.8 are available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) via Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, or via iTunes on a PC or Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier.

Before updating, we strongly recommend making a full and complete backup of your device (either locally or in iCloud, depending on personal preference). This will ensure that, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the update process, you will have a current backup on hand in case a device restore becomes necessary. Also, if using OTA update, we recommend plugging your device into a power source for the duration of the download/installation process, so as to prevent the unlikely event of your battery going dead during the update.

More information on how to update the software on your device is available on this Apple Support page.

To install macOS 11.6, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, click the Software Update preference pane, and click the Update Now button to begin the update process. If other updates are available, you can click "More info" to see details about them and select specific updates to install.

More information on how to update the software on your Mac is available on this Apple Support page.

watchOS 7.6.2 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) or by going to the Watch app on your iPhone and navigating to General> Software Update. To install the update, your Watch must be connected to its charger and have at least 50% battery power.

More information on how to update the software on your Apple Watch is available on this Apple Support page.

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