iCloud security hole was patched for old iOS 12 devices


Older iPhones and iPads still running iOS 12—the operating system that last received a security upgrade almost a year ago—are receiving a rare security update from Apple. The iOS 12.5.6 update fixes a single “actively exploited” WebKit flaw that might let a user run arbitrary code on their device if they come across “maliciously crafted web content.”

All devices that can run iOS 12 but cannot be updated to a newer version of iOS or iPadOS can download iOS 12.5.6. The iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, original iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and mini 3, and sixth-generation iPod Touch are all on that list.

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The zero-day WebKit vulnerability that Apple addressed a few weeks ago in more recent versions of iOS and macOS is the same one that is currently being “actively exploited.” Although this is not the ideal amount of time for an actively exploited bug, it was probably justified by the age and decreasing usage of iOS 12 (as of this writing, Apple’s developer site reports that four percent of actively used iPhones and ten percent of actively used iPads run an older version than iOS/iPadOS 14). Apple claims that iOS 12 devices are not impacted by the kernel vulnerability that was also resolved by that earlier version.

When a significant issue arises, Apple occasionally releases small updates for outdated, unsupported iDevices; for instance, iOS 9 and iOS 10 were both updated much after their expiration dates to address a GPS flaw in 2019. After being replaced by iOS 13, these identical iOS 12 devices continued to receive security updates for almost two years. Make sure to download the new version if you still use an iPhone 5S or iPad Air as a Netflix screen or for any other specialized purposes.

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