Critical Security Bug Leaves Apple Devices Vulnerable to Hacks

Update fixes iPhones and iPads, but even update app compromised

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Robert Galbraith / Reuters

The Apple flagship retail store is pictured in San Francisco, California January 27, 2014.

For several months, Apple’s software has been severely compromised by a security bug that allows would-be hackers access to supposedly encrypted information over the Safari web browser.

“It’s as bad as you could imagine, that’s all I can say,” Matthew Green, cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins University, told Reuters.

Apple released an emergency update for iPhone and iPad operating systems on Friday, but two days later privacy researcher Ashkan Soltani posted via Twitter a list of apps that he says had also been affected, including Mail, Twitter and even Apple’s software updating mechanism.

Researchers at Google and the security firm Crowdstrike have recommended users to avoid Safari and untrusted, communal wireless networks such as one provided in restaurants. Those using Mac computers, for which an update still hasn’t been released, currently have few options for secure communications.

[Forbes, Reuters]