Apple issues emergency security updates for all of its platforms, update your iPhone, iPad and Mac Now

MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 sitting on a patio table

Apple has released emergency security updates in order to patch a new zero-day vulnerability that’s being used to hack vulnerable iPhones, iPads and Macs.

As reported by BleepingComputer, this zero-day vulnerability (tracked as CVE-2023-23529) was discovered by an anonymous researcher and has now been patched with the release of iOS 16.3.1, iPadOS 16.3.1 and macOS 13.2.1.

The flaw itself is a WebKit confusion issue and if exploited by an attacker, it could be used to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable iPhones, iPads and Mac after a user navigates to a malicious website.

To make matters worse, Apple is aware of a recent report which indicates that this zero-day vulnerability “may have been actively exploited” in the wild. This is why the iPhone maker has quickly released emergency security updates for iOS, iPadOS and macOS.

Impacted devices: iPhones, iPads and Macs

Since this zero-day vulnerability affects iOS, iPadOS and macOS, the list of impacted devices is quite extensive.

If you own an impacted device, it is highly recommended that you download these new security updates and install them as soon as possible.

For instance, the iPhone 8 and all subsequent iPhone models are affected as well as every model of the iPad Pro, the iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 5th generation and later and the iPad mini 5th generation and later according to a support page from Apple. At the same time, every Mac running macOS Ventura is also affected.

While Apple has said that it has received word about this zero-day vulnerability being actively exploited in the wild, the company hasn’t provided details about these attacks at this time. This is likely because it wants as many iPhone, iPad and Mac users as possible to update their devices with these new security updates before it reveals more.

If you own an impacted device, it is highly recommended that you download these new security updates and install them as soon as possible as the hackers behind these attacks are likely waiting to target those still using vulnerable devices.

How to keep your Apple devices safe from hackers

A padlock resting next to the Apple logo on the lid of a gold-colored Apple laptop.

(Image credit: robert coolen/Shutterstock)

Besides installing the latest security updates, there are several other ways to ensure that your Apple devices are protected from hackers.

If you use a MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini or any other Apple computer, you may want to invest in one of the best Mac antivirus software solutions as these programs can help keep you safe from malware and other threats. Likewise, using one of the best password managers can help keep your credentials out of the hands of hackers.

While there aren’t actually any iPhone antivirus apps due to Apple’s own restrictions, Intego Premium Bundle X9 is a Mac antivirus app that can also scan your iPhone and iPad for malware when connected to your Mac via a USB cable.

Although we don’t actually know that much regarding this new zero-day vulnerability and how it’s being exploited in the wild, the fact that Apple released emergency security updates for all of its platforms is reason enough to take this threat seriously.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.