Apple runs for cover and fixes security issues on iPhone

Apple has released an iOS 14.2 update for immediate download: it contains security patches to fix three serious iPhone vulnerabilities

Three serious vulnerabilities that put iPhone users' security at risk have been fixed by Apple developers. The security patches were released in the latest version of Apple's iOS 14.2 operating system, along with some interesting new features.

Analysts from Google's Project Zero, who monitor software for security bugs to fix, discovered some attacks conducted against iPhone devices remotely and alerted Apple, which fixed them. The Cupertino-based company thus publicly released the update for iOS 14.2 and on the same day also the new versions of iPadOS 14.2, watchOS 7.1 and iOS 12.4.9 for those with older iPhones. Users will be able to update their devices using over-the-air mode or by downloading updates from the menu in System Settings.

iOS 14.2, three serious vulnerabilities fixed

To notice the zero-day vulnerabilities in the iOS operating system was Google's Project Zero team, which immediately alerted Apple. The three security bugs were exploited to pull off attacks against iPhone devices, as reported by Ben Hawkes, team leader of Project Zero.

The CVE-2020-27930 vulnerability affected the FontParser component of iOS, which allowed remote code execution on devices. CVE-2020-27932, on the other hand, is a vulnerability that allows possible hackers to attack devices by executing malicious code with kernel-level privileges. Finally, bug CVE-2020-27950 allowed content to be retrieved from the kernel memory of an iOS device.

By exploiting all three vulnerabilities together, hackers were able to access iPhones remotely and compromise the devices. Per Shane Huntley, director of Google's Threat Analysis Group, the three discovered vulnerabilities are related to others revealed over the past few weeks for Chrome and Windows.

iOS 14.2, new features in the update

In addition to the important security patches, the iOS 14.2 update also contains interesting new features for iPhones. These include Music Recognition in the Control Center of the Shazam app: just tap it to start listening.

Apple developers have also redesigned the music controls, which now make it easier to manage AirPlay-connected devices, such as speakers or Apple TV, and show music suggestions when no songs are playing.

The Watch app icon has been redesigned and represents an Apple Watch with the new Loop Solo strap. Another new feature that relates to accessibility is People Detection: when enabled, it allows users to open a Magnifying Glass to determine the distance to a person. And finally, new wallpapers and the new Emoji 13.0 approved by the Unicode Consortium arrive.