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Apple Patches Exploited iOS Vulnerability in Old iPhones

Apple’s iOS 12.5.7 update patches CVE-2022-42856, an actively exploited vulnerability, in old iPhones and iPads.

New class of iOS and macOS vulnerabilities

Apple on Monday announced the release of iOS 12.5.7, which brings a patch for an actively exploited vulnerability to old iPhones and iPads.

The tech giant released security updates for iOS, macOS and other products on Monday to patch many vulnerabilities, including a couple of WebKit flaws that can lead to arbitrary code execution.

In addition to updates for the latest versions of its operating systems, Apple announced the release of iOS 12.5.7, which patches CVE-2022-42856, a WebKit vulnerability that has been exploited by hackers against devices running iOS prior to version 15.1.

The vulnerability, whose exploitation was first seen by Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG), can be used for arbitrary code execution through specially crafted web content. 

Apple rolled out its first round of patches for CVE-2022-42856 in December 2022, when it released iOS 16.1.2. The fix was also included at the time in macOS Ventura 13.1, tvOS 16.2, Safari 16.2, and iOS and iPadOS 15.7.2.

Security updates for iOS 12 are increasingly rare, but Apple still releases patches when it needs to protect customers against exploited flaws

There is still no public information on the attacks involving CVE-2022-42856, but Google’s TAG typically tracks exploits used by sophisticated state-sponsored threat actors or commercial spyware vendors.

According to data from Google, five of the iOS vulnerabilities discovered in 2022 were exploited in the wild. 

Related: Apple Warns of macOS Kernel Zero-Day Exploitation

Related: Apple: WebKit Bugs Exploited to Hack Older iPhones

Related: Apple Fixes Exploited Zero-Day With iOS 16.1 Patch

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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