This week iOS 14.4 and iPad 14.4 updates were released for the masses, and you NEED to download one or both. If you’re looking at your iPhone or iPad right now, head into settings, scroll down to GENERAL, tap General, find Software Update and tap that, then update your software. You’ll likely see iOS 14.4 available for “Download and Install” if you don’t already have your device set for automatic updates.
Once you tap the “Download and Install” button, it is normal for the button to change to “Download requested.” It’ll soon switch to “Downloading…” then “Preparing Update…” then, eventually, you’ll be able to load the software.
This update was first released on January 26, 2021. In Apple’s release notes for this update, notes on both Kernel and WebKit are available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The update to Kernel is for iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation). The update addresses a race condition with improved locking to account for the potential for malicious hacker action.
Per the update from Apple, the Kernel update was for the following: “A malicious applidation may be able to elevate privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.” That’s bad. That’s not normally something that happens. Generally potential security issues are addressed before they are exploited in the wild – this might’ve been a bit later than Apple would have liked.
The WebKit update is for the same devices, and addresses a logic issue by improving restrictions. Potential impact was “A remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”
Again, this situation isn’t common. It’s still unlikely that your device was affected, but it is vital that you attain the update as soon as possible to avoid any potential malicious actors accessing your device.