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Apple Pushes Range of Updates for Quality of Life and Security

Posted on February 2, 2018

Alongside Apple’s recent updates to macOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan to address the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, the final week of January also saw the release of a variety of other incremental updates for most of Apple’s products. Typically, Apple does not disclose detailed descriptions of the security vulnerabilities they fix in these updates, preferring to speak in vague terms to avoid exposing attack vectors that are still open on un-patched systems. However, we do know a little about what went into some of these updates besides the speculative execution fixes.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 corrects only two minor issues, including a problem where your messages might show up out of the proper order. watchOS 4.2.2 corrects some issues relating to system options and closes a vulnerability also corrected in iOS and macOS relating to “maliciously crafted web content” that could let a hacker hijack your machine. Apple released no further details on what flaws they found specifically. Some users have reported faster operations on their Apple Watch after applying the update. tvOS and Safari also received minor quality-of-life updates addressing some minor issues.

Finally, iOS 11.2.5 was released, one of, if not the last incremental update to iOS 11.2, fixing more vague security holes and correcting an issue that was causing the Messages app to crash. Once again, some crafty users figured out a way to send a text message that would cause your phone to crash immediately. Before this update, the only way to fix the problem was to delete the entire message thread and hope no one sent you the corrupted message again. iOS 11.2.5 corrects that while also introducing some other features, such as initial support for Apple’s upcoming HomePod speaker.

We should remind users that it’s important to stay on top of updates, and recommend applying these patches ASAP.

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