Update your iPhone and Mac ASAP to fix this actively exploited security flaw
Both the iPhone and Mac are currently susceptible.
Apple's newly-released macOS Ventura 13.2.1 and iOS 16.3.1 didn't add any new features, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't install them. Information gleaned from their release notes shows quite the opposite.
Apple says that both new software updates include security fixes that are absolutely worth installing. One of the fixes relates to a WebKit issue that the company notes could already have been actively exploited by bad actors.
The release notes (opens in new tab) for macOS Ventura 13.2.1 and iOS 16.3.1 mention a WebKit vulnerability alongside other issues relating to the Kernel and, in the case of the Mac, Shortcuts. But it's that WebKit issue that is most concerning.
"Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution," Apple's release notes start out before adding the kicker — "Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited."
That's a vitally important part because it means that someone somewhere is already using this exploit to run arbitrary code. And while it's unlikely that most people reading this are targets for those kinds of people, an abundance of caution is always wise when it comes to iPhone and Mac security.
Apple notes that anyone with a compatible iPhone (or iPad, for that matter) should update now, whether that's an iPhone 8 or Apple's latest and best iPhones, including the iPhone 14 Pro. The same goes for the Mac, too.
We'd always suggest installing Apple's new updates regardless of whether security fixes are included, but in this case, it really is a no-brainer. Those with an iPhone can head into the Settings app to begin the update process, while the macOS Ventura update mechanism can be found in the System Settings app.
Get the best of iMore in your inbox, every day!
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.