Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.4.2, iOS 12.5.2, and watchOS 7.3.3 with Critical Webkit Security Fix

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 14.4.2, iPadOS 14.4.2, iOS 12.5.2 for older devices, and watchOS 7.3.3 with a critical Webkit security fix

As these updates appear to have been released to address a specific issue, 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.

Release Notes

The release notes for these updates simply state:

This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.

Apple’s security support site provides a little more information, saying it’s a Webkit security fix:

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)
Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to universal cross site scripting. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.
Description: This issue was addressed by improved management of object lifetimes.
CVE-2021-1879: Clement Lecigne of Google Threat Analysis Group and Billy Leonard of Google Threat Analysis Group

How to update

iOS and iPadOS 14.4.2 and iOS 12.5.2 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.

watchOS 7.3.3 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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