When Apple released iOS 16.6.1 and iPadOS 16.6.1 last week
, it was pushed out to patch some vulnerabilities that Apple
said “may have been actively exploited.” Concerned about these vulnerabilities, Apple released a security patch to some older iPhone, iPad
, and iPod touch models that did not qualify to receive the earlier iOS and iPadOS 16.6.1 updates due to their age.
In other words, the devices
that received iOS 15.7.9 and iPadOS 15.7.9 today (they are listed in the paragraph below) had lost support for updates starting with iOS and iPadOS 16. It also explains why iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X received the earlier iOS 16
.6.1 update; those three models will lose software support starting with iOS 17
The iOS 15.7.9 and iPadOS 15.7.9 updates
are for the iPhone 6s series, iPhone 7 series, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPad Air 2, iPad mini (4th generation), and iPod touch (7th generation). The patch is for the Image I/O framework
that allows applications to read and write most image file formats. With the vulnerability Apple patched, a malicious image could allow an attacker to run any program or code on a targeted device. Apple said that it is aware of reports that this flaw might have already been taken advantage of by bad actors.
The iPod touch 7th generation receives iOS 15.7.9
For those playing along at home, the update dealt with CVE-2023-41064. The CVE, or Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures number, is part of a database that allows manufacturers, device sellers, cybersecurity experts, and others, to exchange information about issues dealing with cybersecurity. You might note that while iOS 16.6.1 and iPadOS 16.6.1 also patched an issue with the Wallet, iOS 15.7.9 and iPadOS 15.7.9 only patched the Image I/O framework flaw which Apple did by using improved memory handling.
You can check to see if your older iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch received iOS 15.7.9 or iPad OS 15.7.9 by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If the update does appear, follow the directions to download and install it.