Apple Security Alert – Update Your iPhone or iPad Immediately!

This week, Apple released a patch update for its iOS7 and iOS6 operating systems to fix a dangerous security hole. If you haven’t done so already, update your iPhone and iPad immediately. For more information, please read the article below. (Article written by Cooperative of American Physicians, Physician Resource Center member)

Security Flaw Discovered in Apple iPhone and iPad Systems

Are you using an iPhone to communicate with colleagues, staff, or patients? Recently, a security flaw was discovered in the operating systems for iPhones and iPads.  A few days ago, Apple released a software update for iPhones and iPads – iOS 7.0.6 – that fixes this flaw. While there have been no reports yet of hackers exploiting the flaw, we recommend you install the update if you own such a device and are using it in high-level risk situations, as described below.

Encryption is used to protect passwords and other sensitive information while it is being transmitted from your device. A bug in Apple’s implementation of this encryption has been discovered. If your device is connected to a wi-fi network, and a hacker who wants to exploit the bug is connected to the same network, that hacker could intercept sensitive information you transmit for e-mail, online banking, etc.

So, when are you most at risk? The greatest risk is when you use your iPhone/iPad for sensitive communications or transactions on publicly available wi-fi networks, such as in airports, coffee shops, and hotels – or anywhere else where you don’t know who else might be connected.

Your risk is very low if you are transmitting sensitive information over a cellular network (3G or 4G). Those communications are much more difficult for a hacker to intercept. And as long as your home or office wi-fi network is adequately secured (you should be using WPA or WPA2 encryption with a passcode – but not WEP encryption), you are safe.

Instructions on installing the update is available at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4623. You should allow time for the installation, as it may take several minutes. Installation via iTunes is generally the fastest.

Authored by – CAP’s IT and Risk Management Departments