Apple Releases iOS 11.2.2 with Spectre Vulnerability Patch

Apple Releases iOS 11.2.2 with Spectre Vulnerability Patch
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Apple on Monday released iOS 11.2.2, a relatively small but important update with a handful of fixes for a dangerous security vulnerability that made headlines last week.

iOS 11.2.2 contains some critical security fixes for two dangerous vulnerabilities discovered in a wide range of computer hardware. Specifically, the new update includes improvements to both Safari and WebKit that mitigate the effects of the Spectre exploit, according to Apple’s security release notes. iOS 11.2.2 doesn’t appear to contain any other outward-facing changes or features.

Spectre is one of two massive vulnerabilities that were publicized last week, with the other flaw being Meltdown. While the Meltdown exploit affects devices that run on Intel CPUs, Spectre can be deployed via JavaScript in a web browser — which could make it a more wide-ranging security risk.

Apple noted that Meltdown has more potential to be used as an exploit, and that Spectre was a much harder vulnerability to take advantage of. But, together, Apple did state that both vulnerabilities could potentially affect “all” Mac and iOS devices.

While the Cupertino tech giant acknowledged the two vulnerabilities in a support document published Thursday, it also noted that it had already issued patches that mitigated the effects of Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2 and tvOS 11.2, which were released in December 2017.

Last week, it also announced that it would be addressing the Spectre exploit in a series of security updates to the Safari browser and WebKit platforms. iOS 11.2.2, presumably, contains the majority (if not all) of those updates.

Along with iOS 11.2.2, Apple also issued the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Supplemental Update today. Additionally, for OS X El Capitan and macOS Sierra users, Apple released Safari 11.0.2. Both of those updates also include patches that mitigate Spectre’s security risks.

How to Download iOS 11.2.2

iOS 11.2.2 is now available as a free, over-the-air download for iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation users.

Apple recommends that all eligible users download and install the update, which is fairly small — clocking in at 75.5MB on an iPhone X, or 65.7MB on an iPhone 7 Plus. Users can find the update in Settings > General > Software Update.

Read iOS 11 Guide
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