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The Switch

Update your Apple devices. Right now.

By Brian Fung

July 20, 2017 at 10:23 AM

(iStock)

Apple has released a software update to iOS and macOS that you should download right away.

The security update patches a dangerous vulnerability in WiFi chips that allows hackers to "execute arbitrary code" — industry-speak for taking over your device. Through the WiFi chip, a hacker may be able to assume control of your device's processor, the central computer that runs everything else.

To take advantage of the flaw, known as Broadpwn, all an attacker has to do is get within range of your WiFi device, according to Nitay Artenstein, the security researcher at Exodus Intelligence who discovered the problem and reported it. The flaw affects millions of Apple and Android devices; Google's Android team released a patch for that platform earlier this month.

Artenstein will be presenting the details of his findings at the Black Hat security conference next week.

To update your iOS software, head to Settings > General > Software Update. You'll see either a message informing you that your software is up to date, or a prompt to download iOS 10.3.3. If you're on a Mac, open the App Store and click on the Updates tab.

Watch more!
Take a look back at the first announcement of the iPhone, its 15 models since, and what could come with the iPhone 8. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications, Internet access and the shifting media economy. Before joining The Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.

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