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Apple’s disappearing Rapid Security Response update (u)


Apple on Monday distributed its latest Rapid Security Response update to iPhones, iPads, and Macs, rolling out an important security patch to protect devices against a recently identified attack Apple says is already in active use.

“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the company said in its security note.

That’s bad, as it means someone somewhere has already been attacked using this vulnerability. The patch repairs a flaw found in WebKit in which processing web content could lead to arbitrary code execution.

Apple explained that the issue was addressed with more stringent checks. The problem: those checks might have been too rigorous, causing some legitimate sites (Facebook, Instagram, Zoom) and other services to fail. That forced Apple to pull the security update after a few hours of release.

Update. Apple subsequently published an update explaining what happened with the update, writing: 

“Apple is aware of an issue where this Rapid Security Response might prevent some websites from displaying properly. Rapid Security Response iOS 16.5.1 (b) and iPadOS 16.5.1 (b) will be available soon to address this issue.”

What is Rapid Response?

Announced at WWDC 2022 and active as of the beginning of 2023, Rapid Security Response updates are small, quick-to-install security patches that can be distributed and downloaded automatically across Apple’s platforms.

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