Apple iOS 16.1.2: Urgent update

Apple has released a new software update for mobile devices, which includes important security updates.

iOS 16.1.2 sees new security updates for the iPhone 8 and greater.

‘Advanced Data Protection’ is one of the features Apple has announced for iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service.

Apple says Advanced Data Protection will allow users to protect the files they store in iCloud using E2EE (End to End Encryption).

End to End Encryption is a method of cybersecurity that is used to encrypt files before they are uploaded to a cloud service.

This makes the original file inaccessible to the cloud service operator and any other third parties.

Only the file owner can access the file.

iCloud services already support E2EE for a variety of data types.

However, with the new Advanced Data Protection, Apple look to further the user of E2EE to protect nine more data types.

Files from Apple’s Photos and Notes app will be included in the nine new data types.

Although, the feature will not be available for iCloud Mail, Contacts, or Calendar services due to technical constraints.

As well as Advanced Data Protection, Apple is releasing ‘iMessage Contact Key Verification’.

This feature is used to protect cyberattacks for users like government officials, journalists, and human rights activists.

Apple says that iMessage Contact Key Verification allows you to verify iMessage contacts using a password or ‘Contact Verification Code’.

Users will also receive an alert if Apple detects hackers trying to peek into the conversations.

iMessage Contact Key Verification is designed to block things like state-sponsored attacks and other advanced threats.

Apple is also set to release Security Keys for Apple ID. This feature allows users to log into their Apple ID with a hardware security key.

Hardware security keys are devices used for 2FA (Two-factor Authentication). These devices are usually USB drives.

Using a hardware security key is more secure than normal credentials like passwords.

Passwords, during a data breach, could be stolen and shared, however, hardware security keys don’t have this issue.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said “At Apple, we are unwavering in our commitment to provide our users with the best data security in the world”.

“We constantly identify and mitigate emerging threats to their personal data on device and in the cloud”.

iOS 16.1.2 is now available with some updated security features, however, Apple is looking to roll out these features globally in 2023.  

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