This week Apple finally released their long-anticipated major update to the popular iOS 7, with the debut of iOS 7.1. Along with a variety of cosmetic and performance improvements, 7.1 comes with 41 patches designed to plug dozens of holes that popped up shortly after iOS 7 was first released back in September of last year.
Some of the sexier additions include the new CarPlay feature which will allow users to link up with compatible vehicles from Volvo, Mercedez-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, as well as improvements to Siri and the Touch ID biometric security system.
Of the 41 vulnerabilities named in the patch, 19 alone are dedicated to tightening up the security of the Webkit browser engine that powers the mobile version of Safari, all of which were initially brought to Apple’s attention by the Google Chrome Security Team, oddly enough.
These exploits enabled hackers to covertly take administrative privilege of a device without alerting the user, something Apple normally prides themselves on being immune to unlike the more popular Android platform.
Apple also credited the “evad3rs” team for pointing out several critical code signing bugs that were discovered in the process of jailbreaking 7.0, four of which were kernel-level cracks that could have spelled disaster for iPhone users if their team had not been around to make the catch.
Other standard fixes include updates to the Root Certificate Trust Policy, patches for a small FaceTime bug that allowed users with physical access to the device to look through FaceTime contacts from the lock screen, and a flaw in iTunes which could potentially be subjected to man in the middle attacks designed to distribute malicious content through their enterprise software suite.
“An attacker with a privileged network position could spoof network communications to entice a user into downloading a malicious app. This issue was mitigated by using SSL and prompting the user during URL redirects.”
You can download and install iOS 7.1 now either through the air through your iDevice’s general settings, or by downloading it over iTunes on your desktop or laptop and syncing with your phone through a USB connection.