Apple users across Scotland are being urged to update their devices after a spyware threat which could expose personal photos and videos to criminals was uncovered.
Police Scotland is asking users to download IOS 16.5.1, after two critical security flaws were discovered in IOS 16, which hackers know how to exploit.
The first exploit has been identified as using an attachment sent to the user via iMessage.
Once opened, the attachment allows cyber criminals to gain access to the users’ photos, audio recordings, geo-location information, and other activities from the device.
This is described as a form of spyware, which quietly steals the user’s data without their knowledge.
The second exploit affects the browser search engine WebKit (used in Safari and the App Store), which leaves the device fully exposed and could lead to data being stolen.
These exploits can affect all Apple devices which are not updated with IOS 16.5.1, including iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
Users can update their software by visiting their Settings app and selecting ‘General’ -> ‘Software Update’, and then following the instructions given.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advises that if you receive a prompt to update your device, do not ignore it.
Applying these updates is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe online.
You can also turn on “automatic updates” in your device’s settings, if available, to avoid having to remember to apply updates.
More security information is available on the NCSC website.