Apple on Monday rolled out an urgent software update to its iOS and iPadOS mobile operating systems and warned that zero-day exploitation has already been detected.
For the second time since adopting the “rapid security responses” process to address zero-day attacks, Apple pushed iOS 16.5.1 (a) and iPadOS 16.5.1 (a) to devices globally after an anonymous researcher disclosed the underlying vulnerability.
A barebones advisory from Cupertino said the security defect exists in WebKit, the browser engine used by Safari, Mail, AppStore and many other apps on iOS- and macOS-powered devices.
“Processing web content may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the company said. “The issue was addressed with improved checks.”
The vulnerability has been tagged as CVE-2023-37450.
So far in 2023, there have been 41 publicly documented cases of zero-day attacks with more than one-fifth (22 percent) affecting software code on Apple devices.
July 11 Update: Apple released Rapid Response Updates for both iOS and macOS, but was forced to pull them after users reported that the patches were breaking some websites.