iOS 14.5.1 urgent security update — why you need it now

iOS 14.5 review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Update your iPhone to iOS 14.5.1 as soon as possible, or face the risk of encountering some dangerous bugs

A pair of major security issues were found in iOS 14.5 that if exploited could effectively let others control your phone remotely. The 14.5.1 update closes these loopholes, so it's best to download it promptly.

On the Apple page for the security update, it specifies these problems as a "memory corruption issue," found by researchers at 360 ATA, and an "integer overflow," spotted by an anonymous user. Both of these affected Webkit, the browser engine that powers web content for Safari, Apple's Mail app and many others. And could lead to the "arbitrary code execution" that allows for a device to be taken over.

The same problem was found on Macs, but has now been fixed with a macOS update. Similarly, a different Webkit bug with the same potential consequence was recently fixed for older iPhones with an iOS 12 update, as noted by ThreatPost.

While downloading iOS 14.5.1 will keep you safe from any potential cybercriminals, it hasn't fixed some other issues with the newest iPhone features. The biggest example is the toggle button to enable App Tracking Transparency is still buggy, appearing grayed-out for no good reason. Happily iOS 14.5.1 has fixed a problem where disabling and re-enabling app tracking would prevent apps from prompting the user with tracking details.

If you've not explored iOS 14.5 yet, Apple's introduced a number of welcome updates. You can now unlock your iPhone from your Apple Watch, ideal if you can't use Face ID due to wearing a mask. Siri now comes with extra voices too, if you want to change up the sound of your digital assistant.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.