Common readers will know two issues about our angle in the direction of Apple’s safety patches:

  • We wish to obtain them as quickly as we are able to. Both a full model replace that additionally features a bunch of safety fixes, or a degree launch (one the place the leftmost model quantity does not change) with the first purpose of patching bugs fairly than including new ones options, we would fairly err on the facet of making use of recognized safety fixes than depart our gadgets with holes that attackers now find out about, even when they do not but know the right way to exploit them.
  • Nonetheless, all too typically we discover Apple’s newsletters complicated. For instance, you by no means know the place you stand for those who get caught on a model that wasn’t up to date this time.

Apple’s newest safety bulletins, launched earlier this week, appear to exemplify how the corporate generally appears so as to add to the confusion by saying too little…which is not at all times a very good various to revealing an excessive amount of:

rising confusion

Primarily based on the queries and suggestions we have obtained from readers over the previous few days, the next confusion arose:

  • Why did just one safety bulletin describe the updates referred to as iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16? We all know that iPadOS 16 was delayed, so this latest replace meant that iPadOS was now being patched solely to the identical degree of safety as iOS 16, which got here out over a month in the past, whereas iOS was pushed ahead to 16.1, leaving iPadOS greater than 5 weeks adrift when it comes to cybersecurity?
  • Why was iPadOS 16 lastly reported as model 16.1? (Because of Stefaan from Belgium for taking screenshots of his iPad replace course of and sending them.) After the replace, the About display screen apparently says iPadOS 16, because the safety bulletin did, whereas the iPadOS Model the display screen explicitly says 16.1. Plainly iPhones and iPads no longer solely assist “the household of variations often called 16” but in addition have the most recent safety fixes, so why not simply name them each model 16.1 all over the place for readability? , even within the safety bulletin? and within the About display screen?
  • The place did macOS 10 Catalina go? Historically, Apple drops assist for model X-3 of macOS when model X comes out, however that is the true clarification for why macOS 11 Massive Sur and macOS 12 Monterey (variations X-2 and X-1 respectively) obtained updates whereas Not Catherine. you?
  • What occurred to iOS/iPadOS 15.7.1? When iOS 16 got here out in September 2022, the household of earlier variations additionally obtained vital updates, bringing it to model 15.7. This included a vital repair to shut an actively exploited kernel-level zero-day gap, which is usually translated as “somebody is placing adware on iPhones, people.” So, on condition that iOS 16.1 included one other zero-day kernel repair, maybe closing a pathway that’s being exploited by extra adware, the place was the corresponding patch for the iOS/iPadOS 15 household, which by analogy I’d assume could be 15.7. 1?

As we mentioned on yesterday’s podcast, to the fourth query above from a involved reader, our quick reply was merely, “DUCK: I do not know./DOUG: Clear as mud.”

Typically safety bugs in model X of the working system merely do not apply to model X-1, for instance, as a result of the bugs exist in code that was solely added, or solely uncovered to compromise, in older variations. latest.

However now we have additionally seen that Apple doesn’t produce updates for older variations for 2 different causes, both [a] as a result of an replace is absolutely wanted, however it turned out to be too sophisticated to organize and take a look at it in time, or [b] as a result of the earlier model was now thought-about out of assist and wouldn’t obtain an replace, whether or not mandatory or not.

And since Apple’s safety bulletins nearly at all times solely let you know about patches which can be accessible proper now, recurrently lacking updates stay an unexplained (and unexplained) thriller.

An explosion of newsletters

Effectively, this morning we obtained a flurry of 15 safety bulletins through electronic mail from Apple, most of them itemizing most of the bugs and safety points listed by CVE reported within the bulletins that we had already seen earlier within the week.

None of them instantly clarified the primary three questions above, although we now assume that the rationale Apple referred to “iPadOS 16” in addition to “iPadOS 16.1” was a presumably misguided try to convey the data that iPadOS was now receiving. your delay. will get higher to the model 16 household, along with acquiring a to replace equal in safety fixes to the brand new iOS 16.1.

However the first bulletin in Apple’s newest salvo resolved the final query talked about above, by saying iOS/iPadOS 15.7.1, which seems to be a vital repair:

APPLE-SA-2022-10-27-1: iOS 15.7.1 and iPadOS 15.7.1

iOS 15.7.1 and iPadOS 15.7.1 addresses the next points.
Details about the safety content material can be accessible at

[. . .]

Obtainable for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Professional (all fashions), 
iPad Air 2 and later, iPad fifth technology and later, 
iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod contact (seventh technology)

Impression: An utility could possibly execute arbitrary code 
with kernel privileges. Apple is conscious of a report that this 
concern could have been actively exploited.

Description: An out-of-bounds write concern was addressed with 
improved bounds checking.

CVE-2022-42827: an nameless researcher

So iOS/iPadOS 15 remains to be supported, and for those who did not chew the bullet and upgraded to iOS 16.1 (or iPadOS 16, which can be 16.1, with a schismatic title) earlier within the week…

…then it is best to ensure that get iOS/iPadOS 15.7.1 straight awayas a result of the CVE-2022-42827 kernel zero-day gap mounted in iOS 16.1 is true there in iOS/iPadOS 15.7, beneath lively exploitation.

In different phrases, this was a type of instances the place the rationale for the shortage of an replace a couple of days in the past was nearly definitely merely that the patches weren’t prepared on time.

To do?

TL; DR if you’re an iPhone or iPad consumer: for those who nonetheless have the key model of iOS/iPadOS 15, go to Settings > Basic > safety replace instantly.

Examine even in case you have automated updates turned on, and bear in mind to not solely approve the obtain for those who do not have already got it, but in addition drive your gadget to undergo the set up stage, which requires a number of reboots (and it does, in fact, unplug your cellphone or pill for some time).

TL; DR for those who’re Apple: Slightly extra readability would go a great distance in safety bulletins, particularly when you realize {that a} vital replace is the final possibility for customers of older variations, or that they will not want an replace as a result of their model is not affected.

By the best way, for those who determined to leap to iOS/iPadOS 16.1 earlier this week, simply to be protected…

…now you’ll be able to’t return to iOS/iPadOS 15.7.1, as a result of Apple does not enable downgrades.

(Outdated variations make it simple to jailbreak, which Apple goals to stop, and in any case would require a full knowledge wipe first to stop an older model from getting used as a malevolent “carry your individual bug” safety bypass to leak private data).

Updates to Apple’s zero-day update story – iPhone and iPad users read this! – Naked Security

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