Government issues ‘warning’ for these Apple Watch users: should you be worried?

Phishing attacks are on a significant rise, and updating the OS can save you from potential threats.

Highlights
  • High-Alert security threat for Apple Watch users, issued by CERT-IN.
  • Instant action is required in case Apple Watch users are affected by a phishing attack.
  • Apple has rolled out a new watchOS update to protect its users.

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology via its nodal agency, CERT-In, has issued a high-alert warning to all Apple Watch users especially those who are using updates older than watchOS 8.7. The department claims that there are potential and significant phishing threats in India and the matter is severe to an extent that they are warning users to take immediate actions in case they are affected. This department essentially deals with cyber security threats like phishing and hacking and therefore, the warning leaves no doubt that the remote hackers are now eyeing the Apple Watch with dangerous intent.

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How will Apple Watch vulnerability affect you?

The government claims that there are certain vulnerabilities in the Apple Watch via which remote hackers are finding their way to bypass the security restrictions on the targeted device. It is believed that the hackers send a specially-crafted request through which they can execute arbitrary code. If successful, can get access to the user data.

The CERT-IN has noted that these vulnerabilities are caused in Apple Watch because of the buffer overflow in the AppleAVD component; “an authorization issue in AppleMobileFileintegrity component; out-of-bounds write in Audio, ICU and WebKit component; type confusion in Multi-Touch component; Multiple out-of-bounds write and memory corruption in GPU Drivers component; out-of-bounds read in Kernel component; and memory initialization in libxmI2 component.” 

How to solve the Apple Watch phishing issue? 

Fortunately, Apple has already rolled out the new watchOS 8.7 update which fixes the bugs, provides security updates, and addresses the said vulnerabilities. This means that Apple Watch users can now protect themselves from phishing if they update the software to watchOS 8.7. Here’s how: 

  • Make sure your Apple Watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Go to the Settings app on the watch.
  • Select General and tap on Software Update.
  • A new software update will pop up on the screen if available. Tap Install, follow the onscreen instructions and wait for it to get updated in a while.