There's a major security flaw in Apple's iOS -- update your iPhone now to protect yourself

If you haven’t done so since Monday, it’s a good idea to update your iPhone right now.

A bug that was found by Cisco on Tuesday and first reported by MacWorld could let hackers roam freely into your iPhone, giving them access to pretty much anything in its storage, with a simple text message. Specifically, the bug can be introduced to your iPhone via an MMS message (multimedia message, like a file) in iMessage.

The bug’s concept is nearly identical to the Android Stagefright bug that was also discovered by Cisco last year.

Apple released an iOS update on Monday that contains a fix for the bug. However, your iPhone might not immediately notify you of the update’s availability. In my case, I had to manually go into my iPhone’s settings to find out there was an update in the first place.

At the moment, Cisco’s findings are a “proof of concept,” meaning the bug was replicated under optimal research conditions. There have been no reports of anyone being affected by the bug yet.

This should put a nick into anyone’s argument that Apple’s iPhones are more secure than Google’s Android operating system.

At the same time, Android is still inherently less secure than Apple’s iPhone, as not every Android smartphone received fixes for bugs like Stagefright. That’s due to the fact that the responsibility of issuing bug fixes often falls to the smartphone maker and carrier, which they don’t always issue for older or less “premium” devices, of which there are many.

Conversely, every iPhone can receive timely bug fixes, as the updates are issued directly by Apple. However, the update containing the fix would only apply to iPhone users running the latest iOS 9 operating system. Anyone with an iPhone who has chosen not to upgrade to iOS 9, or anyone who uses an older iPhone that doesn’t support iOS 9 won’t receive the fix and might still be vulnerable.

To update your iPhone manually, go to Settings > General > Software Update, and install the update.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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