iPhone and iPad owners should update their devices to the latest available versions of iOS and iPadOS, especially older models that were not eligible to receive the latest version of iOS, according to CERT-In — or Indian Computer Emergency Response Team. The nodal security agency tasked with handling cybersecurity threats in the country recently issued a vulnerability note that warns of security flaws affecting some models running on iOS 16.7 or iPadOS 16.7 and older versions and asks users to update their devices.

In its vulnerability note CIVN-2023-0303 issued earlier in October, CERT-In has highlighted security flaws that affected older versions of iOS and iPadOS that were patched by the iPhone maker in an update released last month. According to the agency, the flaws affect versions before iOS 16.7.1 and iPadOS 16.7.1. The company rolled out iOS 17, the latest version of its mobile operating system, back in September. However, older models that were not eligible will remain on iOS 16 and receive occasional security updates.

CERT-In points to Apple’s support article that details the security issues patched by the company with the update to iOS 16.7.1 and iPadOS 16.7.1. With the recent update for older devices, Apple fixed a flaw causing improper validation in a kernel component on Apple’s operating system. The kernel is a core piece of software that has wide-ranging access and interfaces between the operating system and the device hardware. The flaw may have been actively exploited on older iOS versions, according to Apple. 

Similarly, Apple also patched a buffer overflow issue that was discovered in a WebRTC (a real time communication protocol used by several web services) component, on the latest iOS 16.7.1 and iPadOS 16.7.1 update. According to the firm, a malicious user could gain elevated privileges on these operating systems and run nefarious code on a victim’s device.

Fortunately, it’s easy to protect yourself if you are running a slightly older iPhone or iPad. CERT-In points to Apple’s support page for the latest iOS 16.7.1 and iPadOS 16.7.1 updates and states that users can update their devices to the latest version to remain safe from the security vulnerabilities.

While CERT-In’s advisory covers the security vulnerabilities patched on iOS 16.7.1, Apple has since released iOS 16.7.2 alongside iOS 17.1. These updates arrived on October 25 with fixes for even more flaws related to various system components and apps like Safari, Siri, Find My, Weather, and the iOS kernel. 

Owners of the iPhone 8, iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad (5th generation), iPad mini (5th generation) and iPad Pro models that are running on iOS 16 can also manually check for an update on their smartphone or tablet.

How to download the latest iOS update Connect to a Wi-Fi network and charge your iPhone or iPad to more than 50 per cent. Tap on General > Software Update in the Settings app. Wait for the iOS 16.7.2 update to be listed, then tap on Update Now. Enter your phone’s passcode, to begin the update process and wait for your phone to reboot.

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