Apple issues security patch for potential device hack

Apple issues security patch for potential device hack [Image: scyther5 via iStock]

Apple has issued a security patch for a vulnerability that allowed devices to be hacked by simply receiving an image.

What makes this attempt at a global hack different from many others is that it was not just smartphones and tablets that were potentially affected. Apple TVs, Macs and even Apple Watches have received the security update in order to protect them.

All Apple users have been encouraged to update their devices as soon as possible.

On the help and support section of its website, Apple revealed the updates for each element affected. The Company said its CoreGraphics update for macOS Sierra 10.12 was released to fix a problem whereby “viewing a maliciously crafted JPEG file may lead to arbitrary code execution”.

This would mean that a hacker would just have to send an image to an Apple user after coding it to break into a device. If the user opened what may seem like a harmless image, the hacker would be able to gain control of the device.

The image does not have to be downloaded or saved for the malicious code to break into the phone, just opened. This could result in users being affected from anywhere online or receiving a message from someone they think they know.

According to Apple, any iPhone 5 or later, any fourth generation iPad or later and any sixth generation or later iPod Touches can be affected by the potential hack. Apple has not revealed which iOS versions were affected.

Some analysts have said that with most Apple updates, users should wait a few days in order for the bugs to be worked out. However, in this case, it seems that all tech experts have agreed that the update should be downloaded as soon as possible.