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Apple drops surprise iOS 17.1.2 update: why you need to update

This is a big deal. So, folks, if you’re still on iOS 16.7.1 or earlier, it’s time to hit that update button

This image is a calendar showing the dates of September 1971.
Image: KnowTechie

In an unexpected turn of events, Apple released an urgent security update, iOS 17.1.2, on November 30, 2023.

What’s so crucial about this update, you ask? This update patches two zero-day vulnerabilities that have been actively exploited in the wild. Yeah, that’s right, folks. We’re talking real-life cyberattacks here.

The vulnerabilities, known as CVE-2023-42916 and CVE-2023-42917, affect WebKit, the engine running the Safari browser, and other web views across iOS.

Safari vulnerability allows sensitive information access. Regular users need to update Safari to protect against potential exploitation.

Safari vulnerability enables arbitrary code execution. Regular users should update Safari to prevent potential malicious code attacks.

These vulnerabilities could potentially allow sensitive data disclosure or arbitrary code execution. That’s nerd talk for “your private information could be leaked, or someone could take over your device.”

These vulnerabilities were reported to Apple by no one other than Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group. Now, if a Google guy is helping Apple, you know it’s serious.

The iOS 17.1.2 update, while not including any new features, fixes these vulnerabilities

iOS 17 logo in purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Apple and security experts are sounding the alarm bells. They’re urging all users to update to iOS 17.1.2 immediately due to the active exploitation of the vulnerabilities.

Representatives for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In true Apple style, they’re keeping mum about the vulnerabilities until a fix is available.

But don’t let that silence fool you. This is a big deal. So, folks, if you’re still on iOS 16.7.1 or earlier, it’s time to hit that update button.

Don’t wait for iOS 17.2; this isn’t a drill. If you’ve disabled automatic updates, you can update manually in your device settings.

Open Settings
Tap on the Settings app.
Navigate to General
Tap on the General category.
Open Software Update
Tap on Software Update.
Select the update
Apple decoupled major updates from security ones, so tap the Upgrade to iOS 17 banner at the bottom.
Download the update
Tap on the Download and Install button.
Confirm the install
Tap on Install, then wait for the iPhone to finish updating and reboot itself.
And you’re done
Once the iPhone reboots, you should be on iOS 17.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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